Navigation Links
New book inspires children to protect dugongs
Date:7/11/2012

Australia's children are being enlisted in the fight to save dugongs from the multiple threats of coastal development, climate change, and environmental pollution, thanks to the creative mind of marine biologist Dr Mariana Fuentes.

Launching today at the 12Th International Coral Reef Symposium, in Cairns her new book takes readers into the secret world of 'Dhyum', a real dugong living in the Torres Strait.

In 'Dhyum the dugong' the author, Dr Fuentes from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University, takes the reader on a charming journey through the dugong's life, from how they are born to how we can protect them.

"The Torres Strait is known as the 'dugong capital of the world' because the seas have the greatest population of these wonderful marine mammals," says Dr Fuentes, who worked closely with the Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA) and Sea Management staff while writing the book.

"By telling readers about the lives of dugongs such as what they eat, where they live and what harms them the book aims to make young Australians more aware of the sea mammal and its vulnerabilities."

In the book, Dhyum explains to children that "It's very difficult for dugongs to escape from fast moving boats. In areas with lots of boats, dugongs can be hit, particularly if the water is shallow." He encourages them to "learn about dugongs so you can help to look after them. Find out where they live, how they move between places, how big their families are and how their numbers change over time".

"Readers will then understand better how we can protect them. For example, knowing that seagrass the staple food of dugongs dies off when water is too polluted, can encourage the community to keep the ocean clean," Dr Fuentes says.

She also explains current research into dugongs and how the scientific findings are being used to help local Torres Strait Islander communities develop their conservation plans.

"By explaining that dugongs, like Dhyum himself, which was satellite-tagged in 2010, to inform rangers and scientists how and where they move, I wanted to demonstrate the various ways dugongs can be studied.

"The story includes information on how dugongs move from Torres Strait to Papua New Guinea, so now communities in both countries are working together to help protect them".

"One of the main reasons I wrote the book was to help children and the general public appreciate how we can use science to look after endangered animals," Dr Fuentes says.

Apart from being distributed to schools across the Torres Strait, the book will also be used by Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA) rangers as part of their environmental education program.

"Dugongs have great cultural and social importance to Australia's Indigenous peoples living near the Great Barrier Reef and in Torres Strait," says Dr Fuentes. "It is vital that the coming generation realises how a loss in dugong numbers could spell problems for both marine ecosystems and for Indigenous communities."

The TSRA chairperson, Mr Toshie Kris, says the book is a great example of collaboration between Torres Strait Islanders and the scientific community.

"To have scientists and TSRA staff working together on communication products that benefit the broader Torres Strait Islander community is tremendous," Mr Kris says. "Dugong conservation is a vital issue for Torres Strait Islanders and Dr Fuentes's book will help children understand the importance of looking after these endangered mammals".

"This book will be valuable for our Land and Sea Rangers as they work with communities to protect and conserve dugongs."

'Dhyum the dugong' will be launched during the 12th International Coral Reef Symposium in Cairns Convention Centre, Room MR5, on Wednesday, 11 July 2012, at 1.00pm. Media are welcome to attend.

After the launch, softcopies of the book can be downloaded for free from the ARC Centre of Excellence website at http://www.coralcoe.org.au/ or at Dr Fuentes' website http://marianafuentes.com. (Please contact Dr Fuentes for hardcopies)


'/>"/>
Contact: Mariana Fuentes
Mariana.Fuentes@jcu.edu.au
61-041-164-5986
ARC Centre of Excellence in Coral Reef Studies
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Child welfare investigation predicts mental health problems in young children
2. BGI and the Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia launch the 1,000 Rare Diseases Project
3. Children exposed to the common pollutant naphthalene show signs of chromosomal damage
4. Common genetic variants identify autism risk in high risk siblings of children with ASD
5. WanderID Launches Breakthrough ID Product for Children, Seniors
6. Researchers pinpoint genetic pathway of rare facial malformation in children
7. Genetic abnormality offers diagnostic hope for childrens cancer
8. Researchers unravel genetic mechanism of fatty liver disease in obese children
9. New study compares diets for weight management in obese children
10. Should we play hide-and-go-seek with our childrens vegetables?
11. Strawberries activate protection protein to prevent cardiovascular disease
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/26/2016)... , April 27, 2016 ... "Global Multi-modal Biometrics Market 2016-2020"  report to their ... , The analysts forecast the global ... of 15.49% during the period 2016-2020.  ... of sectors such as the healthcare, BFSI, transportation, ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... 2016  A new partnership announced today will ... decisions in a fraction of the time it ... high-value life insurance policies to consumers without requiring ... Force Diagnostics, rapid testing (A1C, Cotinine and HIV) ... pressure, weight, pulse, BMI, and activity data) available ...
(Date:4/14/2016)... , April 14, 2016 ... and Malware Detection, today announced the appointment of ... the new role. Goldwerger,s leadership appointment comes ... the heels of the deployment of its platform at ... behavioral biometric technology, which discerns unique cognitive and physiological ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016  Blueprint Bio, a ... discoveries to the medical community, has closed its Series ... Matthew Nunez . "We have received a ... the capital we need to meet our current goals," ... provide us the runway to complete validation on the ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 On Wednesday, June 22, 2016, ... 0.22%; the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged 0.27% lower to ... down 0.17%. Stock-Callers.com has initiated coverage on the following equities: ... (NASDAQ: NKTR ), Aralez Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ... BIND ). Learn more about these stocks by accessing their ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... and technical consulting, provides a free webinar on Performing Quality Investigations: ... 2016 at 12pm CT at no charge. , Incomplete investigations are still a ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016  Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN ) today ... life sciences incubator to accelerate the development of ... space at QB3@953 was created to help high-potential life ... many early stage organizations - access to laboratory infrastructure. ... launched two "Amgen Golden Ticket" awards, providing each winner ...
Breaking Biology Technology: