<5-100% 0-80% Generally overcast 30-75% 25-75% Observation Time (mins) 304 1013 905 469 367 535 Table 1: Comparison of flight details for all six aerial surveys. (1 Brownell, et al. (1981); 2 Rathbun, et al. (1988); 3 Marsh, et al. (1995); 4 Smith (1998, unpublished data); 5 Smith (2003, unpublished data); 6 Decreasing average tidal range.) 2.3 Results In this section, the six aerial surveys are compared and contrasted in terms of type of aircraft used, observation times and other factors (Table 1). Where possible, a comparison has been made between the last three aerial surveys (1991, 1998 and 2003) as conditions were most similar for these years. However, the limitations of such a comparison must be stressed in light of the variable conditions for each survey. The overall picture is one of relative dugong distribution and numbers, rather than actual numbers. As noted above, this data cannot be extrapolated to estimate population size. The total numbers of dugongs sighted are fairly similar across all survey years, except for the counts in 1977 which were particularly low (15 animals) (Table 2). This may have been due to a combination of decreased field of vision for observers in a low-wing aircraft, and a relatively short observation time (Table 1). Comparing numbers of dugongs seen per unit time per survey day (Table 2, and footnote 5) provides a more realistic comparison between results from the different survey years. 7 Year: 19771 781 32 3 4 19 198 1991 1998 20035 o. Dugo 3 38 26 33 27 Calves 1 23 7.9 15.4 21.2 25.9 Survey Da 0.06 0.015 0.119 + 0.020 0.042 + 0.023 0.116 + 0.064 0.051 + 0.ean Gro SE argest Gro een otal No. See alakal A of Total Seen in alakal A 60 38.2 5 34 60.6 55.6 npubl ta); 5 Smith , unpubli ata)). ightin 0.119 and 6/mi 998, Route 3 N ngs Counted 15 4 % 3.3 .5 Dugongs/Min / y + SE 9 0.086 + 01 M up Size + N/A 2.0 + 0.30 1.38 + 0.11 1.37 + 0.16 2.1 + 0.38 1.6 + 0.19 L up S N/A 5(+) 7 3 7 4 T n in M rea (Sect: I, II & VII) 9 13 2 9 20 15 %M rea .3 .6 Table 2: Comparison of numbers of dugongs seen, group size and calf abundance (1 Brownell, et al. (1981); 2 Rathbun, et al. (1988); 3 Marsh, et al. (1995); 4 Smith (1998, u ished da (2003 shed d The rate of dugong s gs was highest in 1983 ( /min/day) 1998 (0.11 n/day), although in 1 was not completed and this is the route with historically the least dugong sightings, and if ompleted would have most likely lowered the overall sighting rate. The lowest sighting Figure 4: Average number of dugongs seen per unit flight time for the six aerial surveys c rates were in 1991 (0.042/min/day) and 2003 (0.051/min/day). 0 1977 1978 1983 1991 1998 2003 survey d ate # 0.02 0.04 0.06 0.08 0.1 0.12 0.14 8 Spatial distribution A total of 27 individuals were counted during the course of the 2003 survey, seven of which were calves. years, the h est concen on of dugongs was found in the Malakal Harbor area. Most n the northern waters of Babeldaob occurred in the western lagoon, close to the states of nd Ngardmau. Only one individual was see the easte e of Babe . In all p us with the e on of 1 Malak r are ment VII ed as an important h for dug conce s of animals being observed here. Typically, 35-60% of the total animals recorded were seen in this area. rliest surveys (1977, 1978 and 1983) were not compared in Table 3 because of differences in light tim to 2-3 ti he length of later surveys) and/or numb of times eac nt was surveyed (between 1 and 9 times in earlier survey compared to 1-3 times in later surveys). ongs ob ved in the flight wer shallow w r (where th ttom was visible) istent with Marsh’s observations in the 1991 survey, when all but 8 % of dugongs were (Marsh et al., 1995). und i gments I – II, (Malakal H r and nor st of Nge nel tow I (Ngardmau Bay and the western lagoon). No dugongs have been seen north of gerchelong except for a mother and calf pair sighted in Kossol Lagoon in 1998. Few dugongs have been see he waters of Peleliu or Angau of VIII, IX and X. Th light times (up to twice as long). otal Dugongs Counted As in previoussightings i igh trati Ngatpang a n on rn sid ldaob revio aerial surveys, 5) has been id xcepti 983, the al Harbo a (see seg s I, II and on Figure entifiabitat ongs, with the greatest ntration The ea aircraft, longer fsegme es (up mes t er h Only 7.7 % of dugand this is consseen in deep water ser 2003 e in ate e bo Most dugongs are foAirai) and V-V n se arbo th-ea l Chan ards N n south of the Malakal Harbor area, with no sightings recorded south of Mecherchar in t r. However, in 1978 and 1983, six individuals were seen in the southern sections ese observations may have been due to increased f The aerial sightings for these three survey years are displayed in Figure 6. No. of Dugongs Adults—Calves% of T Segment 1991 1998 2003 1991 1998 2003 I 3—1 3—1 3—1 15.4 12.1 14.8 II 1—1 13—2 9—3 7.7 45.5 44.4 III 2—0 0—0 1—0 7.7 0 3.7 IV 1—0 0—0 1—1 3.8 0 7.4 V 4—0 2—2 3—1 15.4 12.1 14.8 VI 10—2 5—0 1—0 46.2 15.2 3.7 VII 1—0 1—0 0—0 3.8 3 0 VIII 0—0 1—1 1—1 0 6.1 7.4 IX 0—0 0—0 0—0 0 0 0 X 0—0 0—0 1—0 0 0 3.8 XI 0—0 1—1 0—0 0 6.1 0 XII 0—0 0—0 0—0 0 0 0 Sub-Totals 22—4 26—7 20—7 TOTAL 26 33 27 in which >

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OCT 2002 - Study of Dugong Feeding Grounds

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Davis PZR, Kuartei J (2005) SIRENIAN INTERNATIONAL SUPPORTS DUGONGS IN PALAU. Sirenian Voice November 2005

Davis PZR (2004) CURRENT STATUS OF KNOWLEDGE OF DUGONGS IN PALAU: A REVIEW AND PROJECT SUMMARY REPORT. The Nature Conservancy Pacific Island Countries Report No. 7/04. 44pp

Community Centered Conservation (C3) (2003) DUGONG AND SEAGRASS IN MALAKAL HARBOR, KOROR, REPUBLIC OF PALAU: CURRENT STATUS AND MANAGEMENT RECOMMENDATIONS. C3 Technical Report Series No. 3. ISSN 1754-5188. Community Centred Conservation (C3), London, UK. 24pp