Dugongs in Moreton Bay could help their kind throughout Australia, during a six-day research project.
Zoologists and immunologists from the University of Queensland (UQ) have teamed up with Sea World and Sydney Aquarium to undertake a thorough assessment of the health and reproductive status of wild dugongs in the area.
The plan is to capture up to 20 dugongs in Moreton Bay over 6 days with a team of 16 skilled personnel taking approximately 30-40 minutes to sample each animal.
Researchers will be collecting blood to look at basic haematology, blood biochemistry, immune function and also screen for disease.
The team will also assess the body conditions of the animals, including girth and weight measurements.
A comprehensive series of blood and other tissue samples will also be taken to measure reproductive hormone levels, and abdominal ultrasounds will be conducted on females to confirm pregnancy.
This research is vital in giving researchers an indication of the dugongs’ health and if there are any problems facing the dugong population.