Assessment the Presence of Dugongs in the Suitable Habitats in the Egyptian Red Sea

Ahmed Daoud

Other projects

26 Nov 2015

Assessment of the Status and Distribution of Dugong dugon in Wadi El-Gemal National Park, Southern Red Sea, Egypt

19 Apr 2017

Effect of Tourism Activities on the Behavioural Ecology of Dugong dugon Inhabiting Marsa Alam, Red Sea, Egypt

11 Jul 2018

Analysis of Feeding Trails Provides Evidence of the Number of Dugongs Excavating Seagrass at Key Habitats Seasonally in the Egyptian Red Sea

The Red Sea is a habitat for a widespread data-poor for dugongs subpopulations. Our previous project created prediction model maps for the predicted suitable habitats of dugongs, calving areas, and a predicted density surface of the species over the study region on the Egyptian coast of the Red Sea. The suitable habitat is a very effective spatial feature to address when conservation managers need to identify areas for species conservation. The definition of suitable habitat may include areas used by the species for different activities during their life history including areas used for daily forage, nesting and reproduction areas, and influence territories.

Dugong sighting at surface. © Ahmed Shawky

Dugong sighting at surface. © Ahmed Shawky

The Egyptian coast of the Red Sea is also a hotspot for conservation efforts and comprises many marines protected areas declared and managed towards the conservation of many habitats and species including the dugong. The predicted information is further used as inputs into spatial conservation planning that aims at prioritizing areas for the conservation of dugongs while also reducing conflict with all other users of the seascape. Our conservation recommendations were formulated for species dugongs’ management in Egypt that will provide a basis for further spatial modeling of the density estimates of dugongs arising from the current work on the Egyptian coast of the Red Sea.

Main Aims:

• Using the citizen science program, EcoPro Training Center will train 100 volunteers in Marsa Alam and WGNP to report at least 1000 sightings records for dugongs along the Egyptian Red Sea.

• EcoPro Training Center will survey a few remote areas at Nabq Protected Area and Northern Islands Protected Areas, to survey the predicted suitable habitats of dugongs and meet the stakeholders.

• EcoPro Training Center, Egyptian Dugong Team (EDT), and EcoPro Alumni will conduct several marine surveys of dugong key habitats in Qosseir, Marsa Aam, and WGNP to photograph different individuals from the surface and underwater.

• EcoPro Training Center will provide a report on this project including maps of dugong habitats and an updated catalogue of dugong individuals to the Ministry of Environment, as a basis for the first conservation planning to protect dugongs in the Red Sea, Egypt.

• Educational materials will be designed and printed including flyers, posters, and brochures.

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