Publications des scientifiques de l'IRD

Cleguer C., Garrigue Claire, Fuentes Mmpb, Hamann M., Payri Claude, Marsh H. (2024). Temporal changes in habitat use by dugongs in a spatially restricted coral reef environment. Pacific Conservation Biology, 30 (2), p. PC23036 [ p.]. ISSN 1038-2097.

Titre du document
Temporal changes in habitat use by dugongs in a spatially restricted coral reef environment
Année de publication
Type de document
Article référencé dans le Web of Science WOS:001178532800001
Cleguer C., Garrigue Claire, Fuentes Mmpb, Hamann M., Payri Claude, Marsh H.
Pacific Conservation Biology, 2024, 30 (2), p. PC23036 [ p.] ISSN 1038-2097
Context The dynamic habitat use by dugongs (Dugong dugon) in small coral reef lagoon systems spatially limited by tides is not well understood and has hampered adaptive management.Aims We investigated how dugongs locally used a high conservation value coral-reef lagoon system during different seasons and tides to support local management.Methods We conducted local-scale aerial surveys to document the seasonal and tidal changes in the distribution and number of dugongs over seagrass and non-seagrass coral reef habitats in a small lagoon in New Caledonia. The surveys were conducted fortnightly over 18 months in different seasons and at different tides. Temperature loggers and existing local footage of dugong herding behaviour were used to study the habitat use and behaviour of the animals in the area.Key results More dugongs were sighted in Cap Goulvain during the cool season than during the warm season. As tides restricted access to the intertidal seagrass meadows and during the cool season, more dugongs were sighted outside the lagoon on the fore reef shelf outside the lagoon. Dugongs were resting in large aggregations during their use of this non-seagrass habitat.Conclusions Our study emphasises the importance of non-seagrass habitats for dugongs in spatially restricted coral reef environments as well as the importance of considering outer lagoon habitats as key dugong management areas. This study also adds evidence of behavioural thermoregulation in dugongs.Implications The development of dynamic management strategies is essential, especially where different habitats should be protected at different times of the year. The dugong's (Dugong dugon) habitat use in small coral reef lagoon systems, constrained by tides, is poorly understood, hindering adaptive management. Through aerial surveys, we examined seasonal and tidal variations in dugong utilisation in a high conservation value coral reef lagoon. This study reveals significant temporal variations in dugong habitat use, influenced by tides and seasons. It underscores the importance of outer reef habitats devoid of seagrass for the species. Additionally, it contributes evidence of behavioural thermoregulation in dugongs.This article belongs to the Collection Marine Mammals in the Pacific.
Plan de classement
Limnologie biologique / Océanographie biologique [034] ; Ecologie, systèmes aquatiques [036] ; Etudes, transformation, conservation du milieu naturel [082]
Description Géographique
Fonds IRD [F B010089709]
Identifiant IRD