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Dugong aerial survey Northern Great Barrier Reef, 1995 November to December


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Dugong aerial survey Northern Great Barrier Reef, 1995 November to December
Date Record Created
Date Record Modified
Date Coverage
1995-11-01 to 1995-12-31
Time Period
(no information)
Geospatial Location
  • Northern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia.
  1. Type: brief

    Sighting for dugongs in the Northern Great Barrier Reef area during the dugong aerials surveys between November and December 1995.

  2. Type: full

    Australia has international responsibilities for the management of dugongs in the Great Barrier Reef Region. One of the World Heritage values of the region is that it "provides major breeding grounds for large populations of the endangered species Dugong dugon". In addition, the dugong has high biodiversity value as the only species in the Family Dugongidiae and one of only four species in the Order Sircnia, all four species of which are listed as vulnerable to extinction by the World Conservation Union. Aerial surveys for dugongs were conducted over an area of some 25,800 km2 in the inshore waters of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (GBRMP) between 15th November and 4th December 1995. Survey specific correction factors were used to correct for perception bias (the proportion of animals visible in the transect which are missed by observers) and to standardise for availability bias (the proportion of animals that are invisible due to water turbidity). These surveys indicate that the number of dugongs in the region has not changed significantly since the mid 1980s. However, it is important to appreciate that this is regional-scale assessment which is not capable of detecting local-scale declines unless they are very large. Threats to dugongs in this region include incidental mortality in mesh nets, traditional hunting, and habitat loss. Areas where the magnitude of these threats may be local be unsustainable include: Southern Princess Charlotte and Bathurst Bays where incidental drowning in mesh nets is the major impact and the hunting grounds of the Lockhart River and Hopevale Aboriginal communities. Dugongs are seriously threatened on the coast of the GBR region south of Cooktown and in Hervey Bay. In these regions, dugong numbers have declined precipitously since the mid 1980s. Accordingly, it is essential that dugong numbers are maintained at their current level in the Northern Great Barrier Reef and that the likelihood of local depletion is minimised.

  3. Type: note

    GIS data files can be accessed by contacting Helene Marsh Funding for these surveys was obtained from the following government agencies: - Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA), - Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM), - Australian Marine Mammal Centre (AMMC), - Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA), - Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA), - Marine and Tropical Sciences Research Facility (MTSRF), - National Environmental Research Program (NERP).

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  1. Managed by: Dr Alana Grech , ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies (7351)
  2. Managed by: Prof Helene Marsh , School of Earth & Environmental Sciences (6630)
  3. Aggregated by: Peter Corkeron
Primary Contact
Dr Alana Grech,
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Fields of Research
  1. 050202 - Conservation and Biodiversity (050202) (050202)
  2. 050206 - Environmental Monitoring (050206) (050206)
Socio-Economic Objective
  1. 960903 - Coastal and Estuarine Water Management (960903) (960903)
  1. aerial surveys
  2. dugong dugon
  3. marine biology
  4. marine mammal
  5. distribution
  6. dugong
  7. Great Barrier Reef
  8. abundance
  9. ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
Research Activity
(no information)
Research Themes
Tropical Ecosystems, Conservation and Climate Change
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License - Other
(no information)
Access Rights/Conditions
Open Access . If the data is not available via the provided link, please contact an associated party (preferrably the Manager as specified) for access.
(no information)
Data Location
Online Locations
  1. Dugong aerial survey Northern Great Barrier Reef, 1995 November December Maps and (Data File, Public)
Stored At
Dr Alana Grech, ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University, Townsville QLD 4811, Australia, Tel: +61 7 47815222
Grech, Alana.; Marsh, Helene.; Corkeron, Peter. (2011). Dugong aerial survey Northern Great Barrier Reef, 1995 November to December. James Cook University. (dataset).