Dugongs & Steller's Sea Cow
The family Dugongidae has one surviving member; the dugong. There are a number of extinct members of this family including the recently extinct Steller’s sea cow. Dugongs are referred to as “sea cows” due to their herbivorous diet of sea grass. Dugongs have been hunted for thousands of years for their meat and oil. Today, many populations of this large sirenian are close to extinction and limits and bans have been placed on their harvest. Despite these precautions, populations are still in danger due to illegal hunting habitat degradation, and fishing-related fatalities.
ITEMS in the Family: Dugongidae