Port Blair, May 28: On the auspicious occasion of World Dugong Day, 28th May 2023, the Islanders proudly celebrated the dugong day at the Flag Point in Port Blair. The program was jointly conducted by the CAMPA Dugong team of the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) and the Andaman & Nicobar Forest Department.

The event created awareness about dugongs (the state animal of Andaman & Nicobar Islands) among the audience and tourists present. Shri. Kamal Datta, IFS, Additional PCCF, Smt. S. Selvi, Chairperson, Port Blair Municipal Council, Shri. Dinesh Kannan, IFS, Chief Conservator of Forests, Territorial Division, Shri. Sanjay Waradkar, IFS, Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife Division), Shri. Sandeep Behera, IFS, Deputy Conservator of Forests, Dr. Ramesh C (Scientist, WII) and Dr. Nehru Prabakaran (Scientist, WII) graced the occasion.

Mr. Sumit Prajapati, Researcher from WII briefed the audience about the significance of dugongs and the necessity to conserve the seagrass habitats in Andaman for safeguarding the dugongs and marine biodiversity. The team of volunteers comprised of Saw Tapori, Thavara Vishnu, Madhu Magesh, Lakshmi, Anoop, Kuberan and volunteers from JNRM College Mohit, Kunal, and Lokesh assisted the team in organizing the program.

On the occasion Shri Kamal Datta (Additional PCCF) appealed to the audience to support the cause of dugong conservation and applauded the efforts of WII team in the conservation of Dugongs.

The CAMPA Dugong Project implemented by the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun is funded by the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change under the Compensatory Afforestation Management Planning and Authority (CAMPA). This conservation program dedicated to Dugongs is led by Dr. J. A. Johnson (Scientist-F, WII) and Dr. Nehru Prabakaran (Scientist-C, WII) across three dugong distribution states in India namely Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, and Andaman & Nicobar Islands with the support of state Forest Departments.