Merimbula’s dugong up close

A Pambula local has captured some incredible footage of the dugong in Merimbula Lake. 

Harrison Warne went kayaking on Sunday morning, December 6, in an attempt to see the majestic creature. 

“There has been lots of talk about this dugong in the Merimbula Lake over the last two weeks and today I thought it was time to go see him for myself,” Mr Warne commented when posting the video on facebook. 

“I was in the water for less then three minutes because they are surprisingly fast and I forgot to wear fins, he also seemed pretty nervous and I didn't want to stress him.”

The 19-year-old zoology student said he hopes that his video doesn’t encourage others to try to swim with the creature. 

“The dugong seemed a bit spooked, especially because there are so many boats in the lake and one had just gone right over the top of it.

“Boats are one of the things that are very dangerous for dugongs as they tend to stay near the surface to feed on seagrass and because unlike whales they can’t hold their breath for long periods of time.

“I hope everyone continues to give the dugong some space.” 

Dugongs are tropical and subtropical animals so it is unusual for it to be this far south. 

They are listed globally as vulnerable to extinction. Populations world-wide have become increasingly fragmented and anecdotal evidence suggests that numbers are declining as a result of the loss and degradation of seagrass meadows, fishing pressures, Indigenous hunting and coastal pollution. 

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