This advisory document aims to help policy makers and managers identify the most appropriate course of action for handling dugong calves stranded without a mother. The advice presents five options and outlines the advantages and disadvantages for each.
Deciding what to do with a stranded dugong calf is particularly challenging for policy makers and managers particularly because dugongs are not well suited to long-term care in aquariums.
Dugongs are entirely dependent on their mothers for at least the first 18 months of life. Only a small handful of young dugongs have been kept in aquariums for prolonged periods, none have bred in captivity, and there are no records of a hand-reared dugong being successfully released back into the wild.
This document is authored by Empro Helene Marsh and published as part of the CMS Technical Series.
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