Great Barrier Reef dugong population in decline

A new report published by James Cook University (JCU) indicates a decline in the dugong population of the Great barrier Reef since 2005. 

The report, ‘2022 Dugong Aerial Survey: Mission Beach to Moreton Bay’ analyses the results of a series of aerial surveys led by Dr Chris Cleguer, dugong researcher at James Cook University’s TropWATER and long-standing member of the CMS Dugong MOU Technical Advisory Group.

When compared to previous survey data, the results show a clear declining trend since 2005, with an estimated annual population decline of 2.3% in the survey area.

Our report reinforces the urgency in addressing threats to dugongs.”
(Dr. Chris Cleguer, TropWATER, James Cook University, Australia)

Australia is home to the world’s largest population of dugong. While the report shows clear evidence of overall population decline, the 2022 aerial survey also confirmed areas of high dugong numbers in specific regions of the Great Barrier Reef.

Read the full report here