Dugong Sanctuary


  • India’s first dugong sanctuary to be established in Tamil Nadu.
  • On September 3, 2021, the government of Tamil Nadu announced that is planning to set up India’s first Dugong Conservation Reserve in the Palk Bay on the southeast coast of the state.
  • It has been confirmed by the environment secretary of Tamil Nadu Supriya Sahu.
  • The conserve will cover an area of about 500 km.


  • The dugong is an endangered marine mammal, a sea cow that is facing extinction due to habitat loss, water pollution, and loss of seagrass.
  • The dugong is usually found in 2 places in Tamil Nadu –
  1. Gulf of Mannar
  2. Palk Bay
  • It is an herbivorous sea mammal and primarily prefers to eat seagrass and spends it’s most of the time at seagrass beds.
  • In comparison to their body size, dugongs have a very small size of the brain and also have a small distinct tail just like the dolphin one.
  • It is the only exclusive herbivorous marine mammal as it never enters freshwater.
  • Stellar’s sea cow was the closest relative of the dugong.
  • Presently, it is believed that 200 dugongs are inhabited the marine regions of Tamil Nadu.

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