|Date||11 Jul 2018|
Because dugongs are seagrass specialists, understanding the interaction between dugongs and their seagrass habitats is crucial to their conservation. The habitat of the western coast of the Egyptian Red Sea representing in shallow bays with seagrass meadows is a suitable to the dugong. Red Sea dugongs are scattered distributed and mainly sighted solitary, in pairs and sometimes in a group of three individuals. Dugong encountering underwater is rare and once occurs for short time. The variation in the abundance and densities of dugongs and seagrasses will be studied seasonally.
Total of 30 dugongs were identiﬁed using photo identiﬁcation technique in Marsa Alam and Wadi El Gemal National Park. The re-sighting was recorded for each individual in diﬀerent sites. Dugong feeding trails are mainly recorded on the seagrass beds that diﬀered in intensity from one site to another. The variation in the width of feeding trails measurements indicated that diﬀerent individuals visited each site at diﬀerent times. The data collected by laser photogrammetry is the ﬁrst time to conduct it on dugong and with continuous using photo identiﬁcation, it can be used to estimate the growth rate of each individuals.
Different model prediction for dugong habitat, dugong densities and calving will be created in this project. This work uses the available presence-only records to train maximum entropy and Generalized Additive Modelling algorithms to produce layers of predicted suitable habitat, suitable calving habitat and a predicted density surface of the species over the study region in the Egyptian coast of the Red Sea. The predicted information is further used as inputs into a spatial conservation planning process using the simulated annealing algorithm aka MARXAN.
A management plan for DPA (Dugong Protected Area) will be prepared for conservation of diﬀerent sites located outside the protected area boundaries. I think this project will complete the knowledge and get the whole vision for the dugong conservation by achieving the ﬁrst management plan for dugongs in the Egyptian Red Sea. Raise awareness of tourists, dive guides, snorkeling guides by conducting the PADI Dugong Conservation Awareness Specialty Course which is a standardized tool for awareness and applying the code of conduct for dugong conservation.
Read about Ahmed's previous project https://www.rufford.org/projects/ahmed_shawky_0 or for more information contact: