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Great Barrier Reef seagrass recovering from Cyclone Yasi

Great Barrier Reef seagrass recovering from Cyclone Yasi
May 28, 2017

An increase in the number of baby dugongs on the Great Barrier Reef suggests seagrass ecosystems are recovering well after recent flood and cyclone events.

A James Cook University report on the distribution and abundance of dugongs and turtles on the southern Great Barrier Reef, between Hinchinbrook Island and southern Queensland, showed the number of dugong calves had gone from zero after Cyclone Yasi in 2011 to 10% of the visible population in late 2016.

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s (GBRMPA) Dr Roger Beeden said the fact that dugongs are reproducing suggests their ecosystem is in better health, explaining “because they have obviously found enough seagrass to sustain them and not only to sustain their growth but also to be able to reproduce.

“They are actually an indicator of the health of those systems as a whole, so it is really encouraging news.”

Image: GBRMPA. 

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