The monitoring team of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 12 spotted several sea cows, commonly known as dugong, off Sarangani Bay during the recent coastal and marine habitat monitoring in the protected seascape.
Three (3) dugong were spotted by the monitoring team off the coast of Barangay Gumasa in Glan town on April 19 (Wednesday) while the solitary sea cow was documented using the underwater camera in Glan monitoring area on Thursday.
Maria Elvira V. Lumayag, Sarangani provincial environment and natural resources officer (PENRO) said the sightings of the sea cows, which are considered as the flagship species of the Sarangani Bay Protected Seascape (SBPS), manifest the success of the department’s conservation efforts in the bay through the strategic investments in protecting and preserving the marine habitats of the marine mammals. “The environmental protection is crucial for the survival of marine species like dugongs that depend on sea grass beds as their habitat and feeding grounds,” she added.
Joy C. Ologuin, SBPS protected area superintendent, reiterated that the frequent sightings of dugongs in the SBPS are invaluable indicators of the positive impact of investments in conservation. “They highlight how SBPS continues to thrive as a healthy ecosystem, and serve as a call to action to further invest in protecting our planet for future generations,” she said. (With report from DENR-PENRO Sarangani and photos and video from Gary Cabinta)