Dugongs are another animal that benefited from the lockdown

Dugongs, a close relation of the sea cow, have not done well over the last few centuries. In places like Australia they still live in large numbers. In places like Thailand though there are only thought to be about 250 remaining.

They particularly dislike motorboats and often get injured by them. The lockdowns have therefore been an incredible gift to these animals, and it is fascinating to see how quickly their behaviour changes where humans are absent.

A drone shot this image

This herd had about 30 individuals, but it is rare to see such a large herd near land.

It is clear that as with many other parts of the planet, Thailand could do with implementing better rules on ecotourism. Noise and pollution from these vehicles should be reduced dramatically. Part of this aim could be met by simply enforcing a far lower speed limit.

However, in the future perhaps battery electric boats could be used for these trips. While expensive up front, they would save money over time, as their running costs are far lower. These boats would be able to travel far quieter, allowing tourists to see the animals in a natural state, and perhaps allowing the population to return to behaviours we have not seen in recent times, but which the animals have been doing for millennia.

Many changes that are necessary if we are to meet the climate emergency will have other benefits as well.

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