Research Disciplines

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Journal Articles
Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

Great Barrier Reef Foundation - Reef Trust Partnership

Monitoring the distribution and abundance of dugongs (and in-water, large marine turtles) within the GBRWHA using a combined aerial observer and imagery approach

Indicative Funding
$895,529 over 2 years
This project aims to: (1) to monitor the trends in the abundance and distribution of dugongs within the GBRWHA and (2) contribute to the transition to the use of novel imagery survey technologies to enhance survey methods and accuracy in abundance estimates. The project will be conducted in five main stages which will include: the development of a Traditional Owners engagement strategy and the drafting and submitting regulatory permit applications (stage 1), the development of the survey design and data collection protocols and undertake observer training (stage 2), conduct the dugong observer surveys and imagery experimental work within the GBRWHA (stage 3) and the production of a final report including summary of all survey report findings and advice about the implications of the findings for the conservation and management of dugongs and large marine turtles within the GBRWHA (stage 4).
Christophe Cleguer, Helene Marsh, Amanda Hodgson, Robert Rankin and Mike Swaine (TropWATER, Research Division, Murdoch University, Thomson Reuters - Canada and Aeroglobe)
Dugong (Dugong dugon); Aerial surveys; Conservation and management; Aerial imagery; Indigenous engagement

Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment - Contract Research

Aerial dugong surveys in Moreton Bay and Hervey Bay.

Indicative Funding
Dugong aerial surveys estimating population size have been conducted in the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) since the 1980?s, providing a long-term trend and dataset. Aerial surveys are intended to be conducted every 5 years. The southern GBR was last surveyed in 2016, meaning the southern GBR surveys are 1 year overdue. Recent flooding in southeast Queensland has led to seagrass die off in Hervey Bay and the Great Sandy Straits and likely in other seagrass habitat that supports dugong. The southern GBR dugong population includes Hervey Bay and Moreton Bay, both of which are significant locations for dugongs. Both of these bays suffered significant floods in early 2022. Seagrass surveys of Hervey Bay in May 2022 revealed `almost no seagrass was left?. It is anticipated that, as occurred after the 2011 floods, dugong will strand and die, stop breeding and move out of previously important foraging areas. Further, surveys will contribute to the transition from human observer flights to aerial image capture and automated analysis, which will form the basis of future cheaper and safer technologies for assessing dugong populations.
Christophe Cleguer in collaboration with Helene Marsh (TropWATER)
Dugongs; Great Barrier Reef; Aerial Surveys

Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment - Consultancy

Implementation Plan for Dugong Population Surveillance in the Southern Great Barrier Reef.

Indicative Funding
There are evidences of dugongs declining in the southern Great Barrier Reef (sGBR) and monitoring is overdue. New technologies such as aerial imagery could enhance the survey of dugongs in the sGBR but an implementation plan needs to be developed to review the latest advances in survey technology as well as knowledge gaps, to better advise on the most adequate way to survey dugongs in the sGBR in the next surveys.
Christophe Cleguer in collaboration with Helene Marsh, Amanda Hodgson and Robert Rankin (TropWATER, Research Division, Murdoch University and Thomson Reuters - Canada)
Dugongs (Dugong dugon); Monitoring; Conservation

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These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.

  • Investigating the fine-scale diving behaviour and associated environmental drivers of the vertical and horizontal movement of dugongs (Dugong dugon) (PhD , Secondary Advisor)

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  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

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