The Coral Coast is home to one of the world's most stable dugong populations.
The endangered dugong is nature's only vegetarian sea mammal. Resembling a walrus and related to the elephant, dugongs are also called 'sea-cows' and can grow up to three metres long and weighing up to 400 kilograms. Closely linked to the myth of mermaids, these shy yet curious creatures can live for up to 70 years.
Over 10,000 dugongs reside in the waters of the Shark Bay World Heritage Area, one of the world's most stable populations and approximately 10% of the world's total dugong population. The 12 species of seagrass which grow in Shark Bay cover an area of over 4,000 square kilometres (approximately the size of the Perth metropolitan area!) and are a vital food source and critical to supporting this resident dugong population. Dugongs can be found year-round but are most active between September and May. Encounter them on a wildlife cruise from Monkey Mia, Denham or Dirk Hartog Island, or see them from above on a scenic flight.
Dugongs can also be seen year-round at Ningaloo Reef, another location rich with sea grass. Here, they can be sighted on marine interaction tours (such as whale shark, humpback whale and manta ray tours), snorkelling and diving, tours, and other water-based tours include glass-bottom boat and kayaking tours.