Manatee JunctionTM

Sirenia Vitals & Statistics

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Dugongs & Sea Cows

The Dugong (Dugong dugon), a close relative to the Manatee, can still be found in the Red Sea, Bay of Bengal, Malay Archipelago, and from the Molucas to the Philippines extending southward to New Guinea and northern Australia.


Steller's Sea Cow ( Hydrodamalis gigas) became extinct in 1768 after extensive hunting. There were approximately 2000 Steller's Sea Cows when first recorded in modern times in 1742. In less than 30 years they were completely wiped out.

Today there are approximately 2,600 manatees in Florida waterways. Under ideal conditions (assumes no fatalities), manatee population growth is limited to 5% to 8%. Manatee reproduction rates continue to be very low, and human populations and threats continue to increase. Sirenia numbers appear to be declining world wide. Will the fate of manatees and dugongs mirror that of Steller's Sea Cow? Only dedicated human intervention, nature, and time will tell.

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