The Bazaruto Archipelago boasts the largest population of Dugong (sea cows) on Africa’s eastern coast. Related to manatees, and similar in appearance and behaviour, their tail differentiates them as it is shaped like that of a whale. These shy and endangered marine mammals are directly related to the elephant and also follow a vegetarian diet, feeding mainly on sea-grass. Dugongs have to breathe every five to seven minutes so in between foraging they rise to the surface of the water.
Due to their slow swimming speeds, they are easy to spot in the water, making them prime targets for hunters. To add to that, collisions with fishing boats and drowning whilst caught in fishing nets and lines, plus environmental damage to reef resources are all contributing factors to their vulnerable status.
- Special Interest