Written by Madhav Bahl, a grade 9 student.
Tamil Nadu is a state in southern India. It’s a beautiful state where people can live in solitude with nature. It has various scenic spots – from Kanyakumari to Chennai, and its side tip of Pondicherry and also further own in the Coromandel coast.
The state is now setting up a Dugong sanctuary.
What are dugongs?
Dugongs are also known as the cows of the ocean for their cow-like manner. They are friendly creatures and that eat seagrass.
While we think that a creature of that size might cause harm to humans, it is actually we who cause dugongs many problems. As they generally eat only seagrass they are left vulnerable if there is a shortage of it.
Seagrass beds are sometimes destroyed by ships, scuba divers, and fishing nets. Also due to the dangers of sharks many times people install cages near beaches (to see sharks) – sometime the dugongs get trapped in these. So, human action is leading to a the decrease in dugongs.
Where are they found?
Dugongs are found in the Indian ocean from India to northern Australia.
About the project
Dugongs are endangered animals and need to be protected from extinction. Hence a sanctuary especially for the dugongs is being created in Tamil Nadu.
This sanctuary is located in the Bay of Tamil Nadu and covers an area of 500 kms. There will be research conducted on patterns of dugongs as well as solutions will be looked at to conserve the species.
Why Tamil Nadu?
This area was chosen as it has the highest concentration of dugongs in India. Now the sanctuary will become an important part of the conservation of dugongs along with other schemes such as rewards for fishers who release dugongs after they are accidentally captured along with other fishes etc. It is hoped that this project will save these species and remove them from the extinction list.