eResearch Services for Researchers Dugong Aerial Survey Database

Dugong Aerial Survey Database

Multi-decade database of dugong aerial survey studies conducted by James Cook University (JCU).

The database contains data from aerial surveys for dugongs undertaken by JCU in nine broad regions along the Australian coast since 1984: Shark Bay (WA), Exmouth (includes Ningaloo) (WA); Pilbara (WA); the Gulf of Carpentaria (NT and QLD); Torres Strait (QLD); northern Great Barrier Reef (QLD); southern Great Barrier Reef (QLD); Hervey Bay (QLD), and Moreton Bay (QLD). The map below shows the spatial coverage of these broad regions as used in the database.

An individual survey can cover part of a region, a whole region, or several regions. For each survey, the database contains, when available:

  • information related to ‘raw’ (unprocessed) dugong sightings,
  • estimates of relative dugong population abundance for each block surveyed,
  • flight and weather summaries,
  • links to downloadable spatial data on transects flown and on raw dugong sightings (ESRI shapefile .shp format),
  • links to downloadable reports (.pdf format),
  • and more…

The Dugong Aerial Survey Database is a relational database, using MySQL coding language to allow custom queries on data.

The Dugong Aerial Survey Database was co-funded by JCU, the Australian Marine Mammal Centre, the Australian Antarctic Division of the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (formerly Department of the Environment). All surveys in the database were undertaken by JCU and funded by various agencies as indicated in relevant reports. JCU and the Memorandum of Understanding on the Conservation and Management of Dugongs (Dugong dugon) and their Habitats throughout their Range (UNEP/CMS) have supported the maintenance and updating of the database in 2022-2024. The database project is led by Helene Marsh (TropWATER, JCU), was designed by Steven van der Valk (formerly eResearch Centre, JCU), maintained by Susan Sobtzick (formerly TropWATER, JCU) until 2022 and by Mélanie Hamel (TropWATER, JCU) since 2022.

Resources on Dugong Aerial Surveys in Australia

Reports for all dugong aerial surveys included in this database will contain the information needed for most applications. These are the individual reports for all dugong aerial surveys conducted by JCU and are organised by region.

Inventory of dugong aerial surveys in Australia contains general information on dugong aerial surveys conducted in Australia up to 2023 (including but not limited to those in the database).

If the information you are after is not found in the resources above, you may need to access data in JCU’s Dugong Aerial Survey Database.

How to Access the Database

  1. Contact the data custodian to explain your needs and how you will likely use the data (click the ‘Request Access’ button below).
  2. Read the Terms and Conditions outlined below.
  3. Agree to the Terms and Conditions (click the ‘I agree to the Terms and Conditions’ button below).
  4. Follow the prompts and use the username and password provided to you by the data custodian.

Details on the database structure (e.g. data tables and their relationships) can be accessed by clicking the ‘Database structure’ button at the bottom of this page. A manual for users containing useful information such aerial survey methods, data caveats, and examples of SQL queries can be accessed by clicking the ‘User manual’ button.


1. Definitions

  • (a) Database Material – all data contained in the Dugong Aerial Survey Database developed by James Cook University

2. Use of Dugong Aerial Survey Database

  • 2.1 You may, subject to the conditions set out in clause 2.2, use the Database Material for commercial and non-commercial purposes.
  • 2.2 You must not: (a) modify the Database Material; or (b) permit, authorise or license any other person or entity to use the Database Material.

3. No Warranty

You acknowledge and agree that:

  • (a) James Cook University is not the owner or licensee of all of the intellectual property rights in the Database Material;
  • (b) the Database Material was collected at various points in time over a number of years and may no longer be current;
  • (c) James Cook University gives no guarantee given as to the accuracy or currency of any part of the Database Material; and
  • (d) James Cook University gives no express or implied warranty with respect to Database Material.

4. Release and Indemnity

  • 4.1 You release James Cook University from every claim, action, suit or demand for any kind of legal, equitable or administrative relief whatsoever and including all costs and expenses assessed on a full indemnity basis arising in any way out of or in connection with your use of the Database Material.
  • 4.2 You indemnify James Cook University, its officers, employees and agents against every claim, action, suit or demand for any kind of legal, equitable or administrative relief whatsoever and including all costs and expenses assessed on a full indemnity basis arising in any way out of or in connection with: (a) your use of the Database Material; or (b) any breach by you of these Terms and Conditions.

5. General

  • 5.1 You acknowledge that these Terms and Conditions are governed by the laws in force in Queensland, Australia. You irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of Queensland and the courts of appeal therefrom.
  • 5.2 Any provision of these Terms and Conditions which is illegal, void or unenforceable is ineffective to the extent only of such illegality, voidness or unenforceability without invalidating any of the remaining provisions of these Terms and Conditions.