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AUS: Dugong Death Report

Media Release

DUGONG DEATH REPORT

For immediate release 16/8/99

Marine Park authorities have today expressed concern at the weekend report of the body of a dugong discovered in the Nelly Bay harbour on Magnetic Island off Townsville.

First examination of the carcass by experienced dugong personnel from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and James Cook University revealed that the dugong is a young female (5 to 6 years old) and measuring approximately 190 cm long.

Preliminary findings suggest that the dugong died from natural causes, possibly from bacterial infection. Laboratory tests, currently being run, should confirm this assessment and provide further information.

Chair of GBRMPA, Virginia Chadwick,commended the Dugong Incident Response Team for their quick and professional response to the situation.

"Although this animal appears to have died from natural causes, we must remain vigilant about conserving dugongs in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and quick responses to reports of dead animals are a critical part of that vigilance," she said.

Any injured or dead dugong, turtles, dolphins or whales should be reported immediately to the Marine Animal Hotline on 1300 360 898

ends

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