World Dugong Day 2020 | UPSC

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world dugong day upsc

World Dugong Day | Prelims 2020 | UPSC

      HEADLINES:

World Dugong Day 2020: Marine mammal fighting for survival in Indian waters

      WHY IN NEWS:

Conservation only way to save species from extinction, says experts

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3:Biodiversity : Fauna

      ISSUE: 

The dugong, commonly known as the sea cow, is fighting for its survival in Indian waters and unless conserved, could one day become extinct, experts have said on the eve of ‘World Dugong Day’ on May 28, 2020.  

Dugongs, the world's only vegetarian marine mammal are threatened with extinction. Photo: Ashis Senapati

Dugongs, the world's only vegetarian marine mammal are threatened with extinction. Photo: Ashis Senapati Dugongs, the world’s only vegetarian marine mammal are threatened with extinction.

DUGONGS :

  • Dugongs are an endangered marine species like sea turtles, seahorses, sea cucumbers and others.

  They are protected in India under Schedule I of the Wild (Life) Protection Act, 1972.

  • There were just 250 dugongs in the Gulf of Mannar in Tamil Nadu, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and the Gulf of Kutch in Gujarat according to the 2013 survey report of the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI).

HABITATION:

  • Dugongs are mammals, which means they give birth to live young and then produce milk and nurse them.
  • Once the female is pregnant, she will carry the unborn baby, called a foetus for 12-14 months before giving birth.
  • Female dugongs give birth underwater to a single calf at three to seven-year intervals.
  • Dugongs graze on seagrass, especially young shoots and roots in shallow coastal waters.
  • They can consume up to 40 kilograms of seagrass in a day.

THREATS TO DUGONGS :

HUMAN ACTIVITIES SUCH AS THE :

  • Destruction and modification of habitat,
  • Pollution,
  • Rampant illegal fishing activities,
  • Vessel strikes,
  • Unsustainable hunting or
  • Poaching and unplanned tourism are the main threats to dugongs.

  The loss of seagrass beds due to ocean floor trawling was the most important factor behind dwindling dugong populations in many parts of the world.

  • Many gullible people used to consume the meat under the wrong impression that it would cool their body temperature.
  • The killings have stopped though, ever since, the WII began awareness drives among people.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

India has signed non-legally binding Memorandums of Understanding with CMS on the conservation and management of Siberian Cranes (1998), Marine Turtles (2007), Dugongs (2008) and Raptors (2016)

  • Proper conservation is the only way to save dugongs from extinction.
  • Conservation in other places like Australia has seen their population crossing 85,000
SUGGESTED READING : https://iasbhai.com/iucn/ 
     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB/DAILY CURRENT AFFAIRS for UPSC CSE Prelims & Mains

DISCOVER MORE : Important IUCN Articles

 

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