June 12, 2024

A Method for Capturing Dugongs (Dugong dugon) in Open Water


Janet M. Lanyon, Rob W. Slade, Helen L. Sneath, Damien Broderick, John M. Kirkwood, Duncan Limpus, et al.


Abstract: We developed a method to rapidly and safely live capture wild dugongs based on the “rodeo method” employed to catch marine turtles. This method entails close pursuit of a dugong by boat until it is fatigued. The dugong is then caught around the peduncle region by a catcher leaping off the boat, and the dugong is restrained at the water surface by several people while data are collected. Our sampling protocol involves a short restraint time, typically < 5 min. No ropes or nets were attached to the dugong to avoid the risk of entanglement and subsequent drowning. This method is suitable for shallow, open-water captures when weather and water conditions are fair, and may be adapted for deeper waters.

Key Words: Dugong, Dugong dugon, capture technique, tagging, mark-recapture, wild population, marine mammal, Moreton Bay, Australia

Document Type: Research article

DOI: 10.1578/AM.32.2.2006.196

Page Numbers: 196-201

Info SKU: Vol__32__Iss__2__Lanyon Category: