This publication 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 life in an aquarium. 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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Options for Handling Stranded Orphaned Dugong Calf: Advice Policy Makers and Managers