|Date||28 Jul 2006|
The dugong is the most endangered marine mammal in the Philippines by virtue of its close affiliation to the coastal communities, which have been impacted by coastal development and pollution. IUCN lists it as vulnerable to extinction.
The island province of Guimaras harbours an unknown number of dugongs with some individuals intermittently entangling with certain fishing gears. Urgent action is required to lessen or remove this threat and identify other causes of dugong mortalities to reverse the current decline.
This project will collect ecological data critical to understanding the habitat use of the dugong and assist the provincial government of Guimaras in developing a Dugong Conservation Plan including a wide scale community awareness program. We will identify and enlist the support of local stakeholders in every aspect of this project. GIS maps integrating the socioeconomic and ecological data will be developed to facilitate a participatory planning on dugong conservation among stakeholder groups.