[MARMAM] New paper in Royal Society Open Science - Dugongs

songhai lish at idsse.ac.cn
Sat Sep 3 00:27:09 PDT 2022

Dear MARMAM recipients,

New open access paper in Royal Society Open Science: Functional extinction
of dugongs in China

Authors: Mingli Lin, Samuel T. Turvey, Chouting Han, Xiaoyu Huang, Antonios
D. Mazaris, Mingming Liu, Heidi Ma, Zixin Yang, Xiaoming Tang and Songhai Li

Link: Functional extinction of dugongs in China | Royal Society Open Science


Dugongs (Dugong dugon) experienced a serious population decline in China
during the twentieth century, and their regional status is poorly
understood. To determine their current distribution and status, we conducted
a large-scale interview survey of marine resource users across four Chinese
provinces and reviewed all available historical data covering the past
distribution of dugongs in Chinese waters. Only 5% of 788 respondents
reported past dugong sightings, with a mean last-sighting date of 23 years
earlier, and only three respondents reported sightings from within the past
5 years. Historical records of dugongs peak around 1960 and then decrease
rapidly from 1975 onwards; no records are documented after 2008, with no
verified field observations after 2000. Based on these findings, we are
forced to conclude that dugongs have experienced rapid population collapse
during recent decades and are now functionally extinct in China. Our study
provides evidence of a new regional loss of a charismatic marine megafaunal
species, and the first reported functional extinction of a large vertebrate
in Chinese marine waters. This rapid documented population collapse also
serves as a sobering reminder that extinctions can occur before effective
conservation actions are developed.



Best Regards



Songhai Li Ph.D. & Prof.

Marine Mammal and Marine Bioacoustics Laboratory

Institute of Deep-sea Science and Engineering 

Chinese Academy of Sciences 

28 Luhuitou Road, Sanya, 572000, China

Phone: +86-898-88222393

Email:  <mailto:lish at sidsse.ac.cn> lish at idsse.ac.cn 


 <http://www.cetacean.csdb.cn/> http://www.cetacean.csdb.cn/



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