Myanmar, of course, has dugongs. Nowadays, Myanmar is a signatory States of the dugong Conservation and Management Plan although it ws not described as a range country in the World Dugong Action Plan.
A photo news about the arrival of a dugong from Rakhine coast to Yangon Zoological Garden in 1966 described in a newspaper. It was the last documentation about the dugongs in Myanmar before our first dugong survey in December 2005.
In collaboration with a marine mammal specialist from Sri Lanka, Ms. Anouk D. Ilangakoon, I did dugong surveys in Rakhine coast of Myanmar. We selected the Gwa and Kyein Ta Li Townships of Rakhine coast because the last document of dugong occurrence came from Rakhine coast. It was the first dugong survey everdone in Myanmar after almost four decades of information gap. In continuation of the previous survey, the second survey was conducted in an extended area off the Rakhine Coast. Just in the last 2007 December, i went to Man Aung Island for my third dugong survey.
Man Aung Island is previously known as Cheduba Island. It is an ideal place for dugongs in Myanmar. Some interesting information is that dugongs live in Hmawyone Village waters attack some fishing boats anchored in the village waters. In the wave action, some boats make noise from rudder. Dugongs attack only to those rudders which make such noise and try to break the rudder by its head. It is an interesting habit, isn't it? Maybe, that noise is a challenge or territory declaration or competition for mate!!! Bioacoustics study is a very new subject here. As far as I know, no one has ever done such kind of research. It is a good chance for bioacoustics!
We submitted our reports to the Society for Marine Mammalogy which provided grant-in-aid for our surveys. I need support to carry out more dugong studies and awareness raising programmes.
A technical workshop and MoU for dugong conservation and management plan signing ceremony held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, in October 2007 was a significant event in dugong conservation. Myanmar is a signatory states of the MoU.
Thanks to the organizers, I could get a chance to present a poster at the 4th. meeting of the SEASTAR2000 which was held in Phuket, Thailand, in December 2007.
In collaboration with my very good friend from Sri Lanka, Ms. Anouk D. Ilangakoon, we could do dugong survey to some extent of the Rakhine coast of Myanmar.
Here are some reports. Just click on the title to download them in pdf.
Tun, T. and A. D. Ilangakoon (2006). Capacity Building and Preliminary Assessment on Dugong (Dugong dugon) Occurrence Off The Rakhine Coast of Myanmar. February, 2006. (842KB)
Ilangakoon, A. D. and T. Tun (2007). Rediscovering the dugong (Dugong dugon) in Myanmar and capacity building for research and conservation. (253KB)
Tun, T. and A. D. Ilangakoon (2007). Assessment of Dugong (Dugong dugon) Occurrence and Distribution in an Extended Area off the Rakhine Coast of Western Myanmar. (2.82MB)
Tun, T. (2007). Dugong in Myanmar and the Way Forward. A poster presented at the SEASTAR2000 Conference held in Phuket, Thailand. (1.40MB)
Tun, T. and A. D. Ilangakoon (2008). Assessment of Dugong (Dugong dugon) Occurrence, Distribution and Threats in the North-Western Coastal Waters of Rakhine State, Myanmar. (1.10MB)
To visit Tint's Dugong and seagrass special website, click here