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Large number of dugongs found near proposed site for MCAS Futenma

Date Posted: 1999-09-10

Research on the dugong population has revealed the much loved mammal spends much of its time feeding on seaweed in trenches near Haneko, Nago City, one of two proposed sites for the relocation of MCAS Futenma.

The research group, headed by Toshio Kasuya, chief of the Dugong Research Group and a professor at the Biological Resource Division of Mie University, and the secretary-general of Dugong Network Okinawa, Takenobu Tsuchida, held a press conference Monday to announce their findings.

Dugongs were observed 53 times in the southern part of Okinawa last year. But the location where the majority of dugongs were observed was off Haneko, Nago City, a factor that prompted calls from the Dugong Research Group and Dugong Network Okinawa for a greater effort to protect them. The research was conducted around Iriomote Island from August 26 - 31.

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