Project research leads to added dugong & seagrass protection in Malaysia

Research emerging from the Seagrass Ecosystem Services Project has highlighted that the majority of dugong mother-baby pairs occur outside the current Marine Park area around Pulau Sibu and Pulau Tinggi, Johor.

“Although the Pulau Sibu and Pulau Tinggi waters have been gazetted as a Marine Park, only 38% of dugongs are seen to be within the boundaries of the Marine Park. Most of the mother-baby dugong pairs were found to be outside the Marine Park area,” Department of Fisheries, Malaysia.

The islands are the only place in Peninsular Malaysia where the dugongs can be found, although due to threats to seagrass, the number of dugongs in the area is thought to be less than 100.

The Seagrass Ecosystem Services Project works aims to improve the conservation status of seagrass meadows and the biodiversity they support in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Timor-Leste. The project delivers site-specific assessments of seagrass health and threats, and evaluates the ecosystem services seagrass provides.

Central to the project is the empowerment of local communities to assess and monitor seagrass and dugong distribution, health and abundance, and for the resulting data to influence local, regional and national policies for the conservation and management of seagrass and the biodiversity it supports.

Full article available here.

More information on the Seagrass Ecosystem Services Project