Dugongs delight in tourist-free seas

Dugongs delight in tourist-free seas

Dugongs feed off Koh Libong island in Trang province on Wednesday. (Photo from the Marine National Park Operation Centre No. 3)
Dugongs feed off Koh Libong island in Trang province on Wednesday. (Photo from the Marine National Park Operation Centre No. 3)

TRANG: Marine park officials have found a big school of dugongs happily feeding on seagrass off this southern province because the coronavirus disease has stopped tourism.

Officials of the Marine National Park Operation Centre No. 3 were​ patrolling the sea off Koh Libong islands in Kantang district on Wednesday when it spied the school of 22 dugongs, including mothers and babies, feeding freely on seagrass without the usual disturbance from fishing boats and speedboats carrying tourists.

The officials took pictures of the animals with their drone as part of their regular patrol after marine tourism was halted last month due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dugongs habitually feed on abundant seagrass off Trang. The officials found the animals in shallow water near Chu Hoi headland.

The latest survey found the dugong population rose in Trang and formed the biggest school of dugongs in the country, comprising 185 out of a nationwide population of 261.


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