Okinawa prefectural government inquiry into Dugongs in four ocean areas

January 7, 2016 Ryukyu Shimpo

The Department of Environmental Affairs of the prefectural government will carry out a survey on dugongs from fiscal year 2016 for two years. The animal is designated as a protected species in Japan. This will be the first investigation for dugongs by the prefectural government. The environmental affairs department wants to obtain information, including the number of the animals living and their habitats, in order to create a conservation plan for them.

The prefectural government plans to look into four areas, including off the coast of Henoko, Nago, Kin bay, and the sea near Kouri Island. Divers will look into dugong feeding sites. The prefectural government plans to carry out the investigation at several places and at different seasons to update the data.

In Japan, dugongs live only in the sea near the islands of Okinawa. It is known that a few individuals have their habitat off the coast of Henoko.

(English translation by T&CT, Hitomi Shinzato)  

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