General information on the Dugong
The dugong are herbivorous marine mammals found in tropical and subtropical waters of the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, Eastern Africa to the coast of Australia. The largest population of the dugong is on the northern coast of Australia. They are classified as vulnerable to extinction under the I.U.C.N.' s Red List of Threatened Species.
They are long lived and late maturing like the Australian Sea Lion, but have a slow population growth rate of only 5%. They prefer to eat sea grasses in shallow waters, however their nearshore foraging habits exposes them to human activities in coastal areas.
Causes of endangerment
A large cause of adult mortality is of entanglement in fishing gear and drowning from it. However if they are captured alive, the fishermen will kill the animal since it has valuable meat and body parts. This dugong fishery occurs in the Torres Strait between Australia and Papua New Guinea. Therefore this shows that accidental entanglement is not the only cause of the species becoming threatened. Often dungongs are subject to collisions with boats moving at high speeds, this may kill or injure them.
Article by RHN.
General information on the tree kangeroo
The Tree Kangaroo is mainly found in the humid rainforests of New Guinea as they are rapidly decreasing in number in Australia. The mammal is able to jump from tree to tree and stick to the bark as they have specialized cushioned feet. They have very strong limbs which enables them to jump up to 15 metres.
Their life span in zoos is 20 years however in the wild it is unknown. There is roughly 8-10 different species, in Australia, 2 species are categorized as endangered by the I.U.C.N.
Causes for endangerment
Due to a large scale of deforestation (an average of 80% of all the logging in New Guinea is illegal), their habitat is being destroyed; exploration for minerals and destruction of the forests for agricultural reasons also adds to threats facing the tree kangeroo.
Article by R.H.N
General information on the australian sea lion
The Australian Sea Lions are the only sea lions found in Australia. They can weigh up to 300kg and gather in groups of mostly of 10-15. They prefer to swim in deep cold waters along the Western and Southern coastlines.
They were almost hunted to extinction by seal hunters, young sea lions also are caught in lobster traps and drown as a result and they may become entangled in monofilament gillnets used for shark fishing.
Causes for endangerment
They are now classified as threatened by the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (1999) of the Australian Commonwealth; there is an estimate of only 11,000 left all together. They are now extinct in Australia's South-Eastern coast.
Article by RHN