An adult dugong has been filmed foraging for food in the waters of Woodgate on Thursday, with the animal making quite a few appearances near the local boat ramp.
Photographer and wildlife enthusiast Jeremy Chaseling was using his drone when he spotted the animal.
“The footage was taken 50 meters offshore, out the front of the Woodgate boat ramp,” he said.
“I saw the dugong again yesterday at 4 pm in the same area.
“I do often see dugongs in Woodgate, when they come up to breath they are a lot more subtle compared to dolphins and turtles.”
Jeremy said the dugong appeared to be foraging for food on the sea floor.
“The dugong was sitting on the bottom of the ocean, possibly foraging, it was hard to see exactly what it was doing down there,” he said.
“It was definitely an adult, I would say about three metres long.”
According to the Department of Environment and Science, dugongs are found in northern coastal waters.
“Their distribution stretches from Shark Bay in Western Australia, over the northern coastline and down the Queensland coast,” a DES spokesperson said.
“The dugong (Dugong dugon) is the only plant-eating mammal that lives its entire life in the marine environment.
“Often called sea cows, these shy, slow moving creatures spend most of their day feeding on seagrass.
“Interestingly, dugongs and their relatives are more closely related to elephants than any marine mammal.”
Jeremy has knack for capturing Woodgate sea life
Jeremy is no stranger to capturing the ocean animals of Woodgate and has previously come across a range of creatures including guitar fish and other interesting species.
“I spotted a manta ray in January which really surprised me, plus certain species of eagle ray which are very rare (ornate eagle ray),” he said.
“I love that there is an abundance of sea life in Woodgate and with technology such as drones we can observe these creatures without disturbing them.”