The dugong is a medium-sized marine mammal. It is one of the four living species of the order Sirenia, containing three species of manatee. Australia is sheltering most of the population, but dugongs occur through the western coast of Madagascar, the east coast of Africa, the Red Sea around the Indian subcontinent and the Persian Gulf, and from Okinawa to northern Australia to the western Pacific. There are few isolated populations in the remote Pacific islands of Palau. It is the only living representative in a single diverse family, Dugangid; Its nearest modern relative, the stellar sea cow (Hydrodamalis gigas), went extinct in the eighteenth century. The dugong is the only strictly vegetarian marine mammal.
Dugongs range in length from about 2.2 to 3.4 meters (7 to 11 feet) and weigh from 230 to 420 kg (500 to 925 pounds). Like whales and dolphins, Dugong has a tapered body that ends up in a deep-pitched tail or fluke. The dugong is largely dependent on the coastal communities for livelihoods and is restricted to coastal habitats, with the highest dugong density being generally in broad, shallow, protected areas such as bays, mangrove channels, large coastal island waters, and interstate waters. A young man is born after 12-15 months of gestation and will be weaned from his mother for about 18 months. They may have several years with the woman, as she wills not calf again in 2.5 to 7 years. These low fertility rates have implications for their conservation worldwide and are at risk of dramatic decline due to the impact of human activity. Dungeons the more subtle forms of seagrass often appear to be found at greater depths (37 m [120 ft]) and leave the path of food along the shoreline. One possible task of feeding on livestock is to maintain sea-grass nests in the most nutritious stages of their growth. Dugongs usually sink for one to four minutes but can sink for up to eight minutes.
Dugong has been hunting for thousands of years for its meat and oil. The modern range of traditional hunting still has great cultural significance in many countries, especially in northern Australia and the Pacific Islands. Many different cultures give Dugong different special powers. From drawing a 5,000-year-old cave found in Malaysia to being included in the cabinets of Curiosity at the beginning of the Renaissance, Dugong can find attractions throughout. In many countries, despite being legally protected, the main causes of population decline are anthropogenic and include fishing casualties, habitat degradation, and hunting. Its longevity is 70 years or more and dugongs are particularly at risk of extinction due to slow fertility. Degradation of habitat, loss of seagrass, accidental nets and boat collisions in fishing nets also have a negative impact on the population, as the low fertility rate of dugongs cannot compensate for the unnatural natural source of death.