With the conclusion of dugong key informant interviews conducted earlier in the year with expert fishers, the next step will be the direct observation activities which will confirm and add vital information on dugong sighting locations in the Municipality of Busuanga.
We are now sifting through these hundreds of interviews from fishers throughout the municipality and analyzing our data with the aim of producing a ‘hotspot’ map to show where exactly the dugongs are in Busuanga. Once the locations of these dugong hideouts have been firmly established, conservation efforts can now focus on studying and managing these vital environmental redoubts.
The effort is critical as well as timely. Dugongs are herbivores that depend on seagrass beds to survive as this is their main source of food. Habitat conservation therefore cannot be divorced from dugong conservation as one critical to the survival of the other.
Direct observation activities are slated to commence early in 2013. The research findings will be submitted to the local government and communities of Busuanga to aid them in their management decisions concerning their environment.
Meet C3‘s Director, Patricia Davis, explaining why she thinks that dugongs are not only the best animal alive but also of immeasurable importance to impoverished coastal communities.