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Seagrass and Dugong feeding

This project analysed dugong feeding trail metrics in several tropical intertidal seagrass meadows in the Cairns and Townsville region. The aim was to understand better what components of a seagrass meadow were being used by dugong in their choice of food.

Results show dugongs feeding in the Great Barrier Reef region prefer areas of high biomass rather than particular species or levels of nutrients. Similar results have been found in the Torres Strait suggesting this is a consistent pattern in the tropics. 



Dugong feeding trails
Dugong feeding trails through seagrass bed
This was an Honours Research Project by Samatha Tol under the supervision of Dr Rob Coles and Dr Brad Congdon (School of Marine and Tropical Biology, James Cook University). The results from this study will contribute to conservation efforts for dugongs, and aspects will be expanded as a PhD project in 2014.

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