Dugongs (Dugong dugon) are the mermaids of the sea, also known as Sea Cows. They are long-living, slow-moving and slow-breeding mammals inhabiting in shallow warm waters of the East Africa, the Persian Gulf, India, South-east Asia and Australia. Their diet is based on seagrasses, unique flowering plants adapted to seawater.
Due to a significant increase in the threads affecting dugongs, this species is considered to be vulnerable, and their populations are suffering a clear decline. Some action have to be take in order to protect them and avoid these genuine species to be classified as extinct.
As part of my thesis for the Master in Scientific Illustration (2018), I collaborated with the Nature Conservation Foundation (India) for the protection of dugong populations in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Both my knowledge as biologist and my abilities in scientific illustration were directed to elaborate illustrations that could transmit information about the animal and their critical situation, as well as, create awareness among the public at large.
Some of the material produced is shown as follows:
– Infographic targeted to the authorities of the Department of Environment and Forests (DEF, Port Blair, Andaman & Nicobar Islands), local museums, information centres and other places accessible to the public. It shows the relevant information of the project carried out by Dr. Elrika D’Souza, Dr. Teresa Alcoverro et al. (2011-present), its results and the conservation measures to be taken in the future.
– Couple of illustrations showing differences in skin coloration between dugong and manatees, and in their snout / dentition.
– Traditional Stippling illustrations of the 4 species of seagrasses the dugong feeds on. These are made to assist in seagrasses identification,