Mangroves forests across the globe host myriads of species that live and thrive along the coastal ecosystems. One of them is the dugong. Our project partner in A bu Dhabi, Jane Glavan, tells us more of these magnificent creatures.
The forefathers of UAE owed their living to the waters of the Arabian Gulf and it continues to teem with life. The UAE has a number of wonderful and diverse coastal ecosystems, such as mangrove forests, salt water marshes and seagrass meadows etc. The Arabian Gulf hosts the world’s second largest population of dugongs, thought to number at least five thousand. The rich and extensive seagrass beds in the waters of the United Arab Emirates form a habitat that has been identified as the most important for dugongs in the Arabian Gulf and probably includes the majority of this population. This species, which is thought to have given rise to the myth of the mermaid, is now threatened with extinction.