Have you ever heard of a dugong? We had not. Have you heard of a manatee? Dugongs are similar to manatees, but are a bit smaller, have a different shape tail, and live only in the ocean (manatees spend time in both the ocean and in fresh water rivers). An estimated 10,000-15,000 dugongs live in Shark Bay -- the largest population of dugongs in the world. According to one of the rangers at Monkey Mia, this is about one-tenth of the world’s dugong population.
|Dugong photo from Julien Willem on Wikipedia|
|Dugong we saw on a boat trip in Shark Bay|
Dolphins!The primary reason we visited Shark Bay and Monkey Mia was dolphins. Jamie especially is crazy about dolphins!
|Monkey Mia Bottlenose Dolphins|
Now, however, rangers from Australia’s Department of Parks and Wildlife tightly control the feeding process. There are only 5 female dolphins that are fed, and they are only fed a maximum of 3 times a day. The total amount they are fed is about ¼ of their daily nutritional needs, so they don’t become dependent on feedings from humans. And no one is allowed to touch the dolphins.
|Group getting ready for a dolphin feeding|
|Dolphin feeding chart - we did the ones on Thursday the 12th|
|Jamie feeding a dolphin|
|Jason feeding a dolphin|
This is actually Jamie and Jason’s list. Before reading their list, we’d suggest you stop and come up with your own lists. Then compare it with theirs. We’d love to hear from you about your lists!