New Caledonia: The IRD has launched a “Science in the Grass” project that invites the general public to photograph the herbs around Noumea

In addition, by locating the images, these citizen contributions will also allow the creation of valuable data for scientific teams, with the goal of preserving the marine environment.

Indeed, New Caledonia is the only French territory with a viable population of dugongs, but their survival is severely threatened today by various human activities such as poaching, fishing nets, collision or habitat degradation. All efforts must be made to protect this group, in particular developing procedures to identify the weeds on which dugongs feed.

The program runs over a period of 6 months, from January to May 2022. To join the adventure, you will need:

  • Take pictures of weeds while snorkeling or cruises: detailed view, overview (from above and/or), substrate overview (sea floor where weeds are);
  • Note the GPS point or, if this is not possible, specify the place of observation;
  • Send photos with your first and last name to the email address: [email protected].

The best photos will be shown at the end of the program. Photos collected in class with university students will also be processed, as part of actions to raise awareness about protecting the species and the importance of protecting the dugong’s habitat.

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