Research Data

Dugong aerial survey (dugongs, turtles) Southern Great Barrier Reef, 1986


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Dugong aerial survey (dugongs, turtles) Southern Great Barrier Reef, 1986
Date Record Created
Date Record Modified
Date Coverage
1986-09-01 to 1986-11-30
Time Period
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Geospatial Location
  • Southern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia. Central and Capricorn sections of the Great Barrier Reef.
  1. Type: brief

    Sightings for dugongs and sea turtles in the Southern Great Barrier Reef area during the dugong aerials surveys in September 1986.

  2. Type: full

    In 1985, dugongs were censused from the air at an overall sampling intensity of 10.9% over an area of 5480 km2 within the inshore areas of the northern third of the Central Section of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and adjacent waters of Queensland, and at an overall intensity of 10.7% over a corresponding area of 15091 km2 in the Capricorn Section of the Park. Sightings were corrected for perceptual bias (the proportion of animals visible in the transect which were missed by observers), and availability bias (the proportion of animals that were invisible due to water turbidity) using survey-specific correction factors. The resultant population estimate for the northern half of the Central Section was 1024 ± 192 dugongs at an overall density of 0.19 ± 0.04 km-2, a precision of 19%. The population estimate for the Capricorn Section was 2144 ± 428 dugongs at an overall density of 0.14 ± 0.03 km-2, a precision of 20%. The highest densities of animals were seen on coastal seagrass beds in water depths of less than 5 m. Maps of density and distribution are given.

  3. Type: note

    Please contact Helene Marsh for GIS data. 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
  2. Aggregated by: Prof Helene Marsh , School of Earth & Environmental Sciences
Primary Contact
Dr Alana Grech,
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Fields of Research
  1. 050206 - Environmental Monitoring (050206) (050206)
  2. 050202 - Conservation and Biodiversity (050202) (050202)
Socio-Economic Objective
  1. 960902 - Coastal and Estuarine Land Management (960902) (960902)
  1. marine turtle
  2. ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
  3. great barrier reef
  4. marine biology
  5. distribution
  6. aerial survey
  7. abundance
  8. dugong
  9. dugong dugon
  10. marine mammal
Research Activity
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Research Themes
Tropical Ecosystems, Conservation and Climate Change
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License - Other
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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.
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Data Location
Online Locations
  1. Dugong aerial survey (dugongs, turtles) Southern Great Barrier Reef, 1986 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
Marsh, Helene.; Grech, Alana. (2012). Dugong aerial survey (dugongs, turtles) Southern Great Barrier Reef, 1986. James Cook University. (dataset).