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World Dugong Day 2020

  • IASbaba
  • May 30, 2020
  • 0
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World Dugong Day 2020

Part of: GS-Prelims and GS-III – Environment; Biodiversity

In News:

  • ‘World Dugong Day’ was recently celebrated on May 28, 2020. 
  • The special emphasis was laid down on its fight for survival in Indian waters. 
  • Experts have also expressed fear that unless conserved, it could one day become extinct. 

Important value additions 

Dugong 

  • It is commonly known as the sea cow. 
  • It is an endangered marine species like sea turtles, seahorses, sea cucumbers and others. 
  • They are protected in India under Schedule I of the Wild (Life) Protection Act, 1972.
  • In India, it is found in the Gulf of Mannar, Palk Bay, Gulf of Kutch and Andaman and Nicobar Islands. 
  • It is an important part of the marine ecosystem. 
  • Its depletion will have effects all the way up the food chain. 
  • It grazes on seagrass, especially young shoots and roots in shallow coastal waters.
  • Main threats to dugongs are human activities such as: 
    • the destruction and modification of habitat, 
    • pollution, 
    • rampant illegal fishing activities,
    • vessel strikes, 
    • unsustainable hunting or poaching 
    • unplanned tourism 
    • loss of seagrass beds due to ocean floor trawling 
  • The Government of India is also a signatory to the Conservation of Migratory Species (CMS) since 1983 where it has signed non-legally binding Memorandums of Understanding on the conservation and management of Siberian Cranes (1998), Marine Turtles (2007), Dugongs (2008) and Raptors (2016). 
  • Proper conservation is the only way to save dugongs from extinction. 

IAS UPSC Prelims and Mains Exam – 30th May 2020

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