Yesterday our guest Selina and our head guide John had the privilege of enjoy diving with a dugon in Ron’s point!! The dive start with three black tip sharks and after 20 min they spotted the dugon who stayed with them until they were low on air!! Great last day diving in Bunaken for Selina who did over 40 dives between Lembeh and Bunaken.
The dugong (Dugong dugon) is a large marine mammal, together with the manatees, is one of four living species of the order Sirenia.The dugong is the only strictly-marine herbivorous mammal, as all species of manatee utilise fresh water to some degree.
Like all modern sirenians, the dugong has a fusiform body with no dorsal fin or hind limbs, instead possessing paddle-like forelimbs used to manoeuvre. It is easily distinguished from the manatees by its fluked, dolphin-like tail, but also possesses a unique skull and teeth. The dugong is heavily dependent on seagrasses for subsistence and is thus restricted to the coastal habitats where they grow, with the largest dugong concentrations typically occurring in wide, shallow, protected areas such as bays, mangrove channels and the lee sides of large inshore islands.
The dugong has been hunted for thousands of years for its meat and oil, although dugong hunting also has great cultural significance throughout its range. The dugong’s current distribution is reduced and disjunct, and many populations are close to extinction. The IUCN lists the dugong as a species vulnerable to extinction.