Main content area

The status of the dugong (dugong dugon moller); kenya, 1961

Jarman, P. J.
African journal of ecology 1966 v.4 no.1 pp. 82-88
Dugong dugon, attitudes and opinions, diet, fishermen, food plants, humans, predators, reproduction, surface water level, Kenya
The scarcity of dugong (Dugong dugon Miiller) throughout their former range and lack of knowledge of the species' ecology justifies this record of the opinions of the fishermen in the Lamu district of Kenya, where the species is still plentiful. The area and the programme of questioning are described. The social life, reproduction, movements and predators of the dugong are recorded as reported by the fishermen. The present distribution is contrasted with the past. My observations on the food plants and their distribution are given, as well as the fishermen's estimation of the part each plays in the dugong's diet. The need for calm water over feeding grounds, afforded by depth of water or shelter from winds, seems to be a controlling factor in the distribution of dugong. Man appears to be the main predator.