Task force to suggest measures for Dugong conservation
PTI, Oct 15, 2010, 09.36pm IST
NEW DELHI: Country's endangered 'mermaids', zoologically called Sirenoid or Dugong dugong, are finally getting attention with the Environment ministry setting up a task force to chalk out steps for their conservation.
The nine-member task force would develop a national conservation strategy and action plan for dugongs and their habitats in the country in the next six months to be submitted to the ministry for implementation, a statement from the ministry said here.
Perfect non-violent underwater giants, dugongs' habitat is gradually under threat due to pollution and destruction of coral reefs.
Also known as seacow, these mammals also surf on waters every 15 minutes like Gangetic Dolphins and whales, for breathing.
And, since excessive unregulated mechanised fishing is also taking a toll on them, the panel has been asked to examine issues relating to fishermen-dugongs conservation interface and recommend appropriate short-term and long-term solutions.
"It would also recommend appropriate methodology and institutional framework for monitoring the status of the animal with their habitats in the country as well as in the South Asia sub-region," says the statement.
Besides, the panel which will be advised by international expert on dugongs, HS Das, is also entrusted with the task of recommending appropriate methodology and institutional framework to recover the dugongs and their habitats in the country.
Apart from officials from ministry, the panel members include experts from Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Reefwatch Marine Conservation and Wildlife Institute of India and Chief Wildlife Wardens of Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Andaman and Nicobar on whose coastal grasslands the marine mammal lives.
Article at - http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/h...ow/6755734.cms