Version française English version

Mayotte > Guide > Focus > Nature, wildlife and environment > The dugong, a strange mermaid sursis

The dugong, a strange mermaid sursis

Dugong dans le lagon de Mayotte

The dugong: there are fewer than ten in the lagoon of Mayotte ... cross the lucky few, especially in the S Pass or off Badamiers near Little Earth.

There are 20 to 30 years, according to the old fishermen Mahorais were abundant: hunting (at launch, with a string), then beat his own because the flesh of the dugong was very appreciated. "A dugong often weighed 300 to 400 kg. A 10 francs a kilo, the lucky angler a dugong was rich for a month . Today, alas, although fishing is strictly prohibited, it is still poached or caught by mistake in a net.

Mammal of the order of "Sirenia" is a large marine herbivore, stocky, heavy body but slender, inhabiting the coastal areas of Indian Ocean and the Red Sea and south-west of the Pacific Ocean.
His body is gray-brown, covered with a thick layer of fat, ends by a horizontally flattened tail and crescent-shaped. Its pectoral fins short and powerful allow it to move. These, unlike those of most of the manatees are not fitted with nails. His head is wide and his nostrils are located on top of his fleshy nose and tilted down. The male has two defenses that are modified incisors, they begin to appear around the age of nine or ten years. Its size varies from one to four meters and a weight of 250 to 900 kilograms, males being heavier. His life expectancy is around fifty years.
As shown Nils Bertrand Blue Sea Safari, based in Mayotte for nearly 10 years, "the female dugong has a low fertility: it reaches sexual maturity around 10 years and gives birth to a dozen young people at most in their lifetime because the gestation and lactation period, respectively, extend over 15 months and 18 months, which brings in the best case to a calf every 7 years.
An additional cause of the decline of the mammal ...

Quiet, peaceful, harmless, the dugong feeds on algae and plants. He digs, "grazing" the seabed with the tip of its snout to root extract nutrients. Then comes regularly surface to breathe. The female, when she is nursing a swollen udder that's because they are placed horizontally and upper body, make it vaguely resemble a woman. Hence its nickname "Mermaid Lagoon" ... or "sea cow"!

NB: A beautiful film about the dugong, which was shot in the lagoon of Mayotte, is presented on Friday at the Ecocentre Blue Sea Safari - Mahabou Street, (at the roundabout at the top of the street trade) - BP 629 Kaweni 97600 Mamoudzou. Tel: 02 69 69 13 87. See also video on the Internet site - Authors: Bertrand Rent / Claude Michaud

http://www. PARTIDA = 7352

Laurence de Susanne (avec l’Encyclopédie en ligne Universalis) -