Trivia / Andaman and Nicobar

________, also known as the sea cow, is the State Animal of Andaman.

  1. Hermit crab
  2. Dugong
  3. Dolphin

Dugong

The Dugong, also known as the sea cow, is the state animal of Andaman. This sea mammal is endemic to the Indo-Pacific seacoast areas, especially the Andaman Islands. This herbivorous marine mammal is an endangered species and is one of the four living species of the order Sirenia. It is the only living representative of Steller’s sea cow.

The Dugong depends largely on seagrass. They weigh about 400 kg and grow up to 3 meters in length. The areas of Gulf of Mannar, Gulf of Kutch and Palk Bay are where the Dugong population can be found. They can also be spotted in shallow waters in and around Little Andaman, North Reef, Parts of the Nicobar Islands and Ritchie’s Archipelago.

For thousands of years, the Dugong has been hunted for its meat and oil. The IUCN lists the dugong as a species vulnerable to extinction, while the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species limits or bans the trade of derived products. Even though being legally protected in many countries, the population of these species is drastically decreasing due to fishing-related fatalities, habitat degradation and hunting.