A dugong shows appreciation to Madagascar conservation team

April 12, 2017

On March 28, 2017 our project partners (MG4) planned a a meeting in Ambatofotsy (Anorotsangana) Madagascar to work with the local community on the dugong and seagrass conservation and implement a local governance structure. In addition to the local community leaders, the community visit was attended by the head of the Environment, Ecology and Forest section of Ambanja, representatives of COSAP Miaro Dugong, Mihari (MG2) and the staff of the nearby radio station of in Ambanja.

Participants of the community meeting in Ambatofotsy

Films and presentations helped increase community knowledge of dugong and seagrass. An election was held and members of the steering committee of the eleventh governance structure were appointed during the visit. These activities are certain to ensure the conservation and management of natural resources including dugong and seagrass in community of Ambatofotsy, Madagascar.

After wrapping up the meeting and upon their return to Maromandia, members of the delegation left village well before sunrise (4 am). A short time later a solitary dugong passed by about 20 meters from their boat and woke the team at 6 am. According to the team it was an amazing moment for them because it was their first encounter with a live dugong. One team member said it was as though the dugong came to say “thank you.” In the end all agreed this event confirmed that dugongs still exist in Sahamalaza waters and the team is now more committed than ever to protecting the species.