Authorities in Trang have reported that an aerial survey recently observed up to 170 dugongs, 27 Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins and 141 sea turtles near local islands in the province.
The discovery was made possible through collaboration between the Marine and Coastal Resources Research Center in Thailand’s Lower Gulf and another research center in the Western Upper Gulf. Their teams were searching for rare sea creatures in the areas surrounding Koh Libong, Koh Mook and several adjacent islands.
According to Sopon Thongdee, director-general of the the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR), the search was conducted using an aerial line-transect method and an unmanned aerial vehicle operated by volunteer pilots Eduado Angelo Loigorri and Pinyada Pithansiri.
Sopon added that aerial footage obtained from the drone revealed that the area is home to approximately 170 dugongs. Typically, the animals are seen feeding and mating in areas with an abundance of seagrass. Humpback dolphins and sea turtles from the Indo-Pacific were also discovered nearby.