Wadi El Gemal - Hamata National Park


This study aims to gather ecological information on the populations of this species in the protected area of Wadi El-Gemal. This includes their distribution, habitat description as well as the anthropogenic threats they are facing. Individual features will also be described using the photo ID technique. Activities will raise the awareness of WGNP rangers and local communities that participate in this process about biodiversity and ecosystem service values of the mountains and the need for its conservation.


Dugong Team (EDT)


Egyptian Dugong Team enrolled in the PADI Dugong Conservation specialty course and became authorized to conduct fieldwork activities on dugong.


Questionnaire interview surveys with fishers, tour guides, and stakeholders to collect baseline information on dugongs in the areas for searching the presence their suitable habitats.


Follow the changes in the presence of dugongs, identify the individuals, behavioural activities and measure the dimensions of the feeding trails and seagrass abundance.

Public Awareness

Participate in events and workshops for wildlife conservation and deliver in addition to raising awareness to the local communities, diving centers for dugong conservation.


Tourism Activities on Dugongs in Marsa Alam


Marsa Alam is one of the famous tourist attractions places in the Red Sea, Egypt. The number of resorts increased and the occurrence of two Harbours with many daily safari boats visiting the dugong area for diving and snorkeling trips. All these activities increase the human impacts on the dugong. Our study aims to assess the dugong behaviour, ecology, and the effect of tourism activities on the dugong. Public awareness and guidelines will be conducted among divers and snorkeling guides as well as the tourists.

Specialty Course

One of the main outputs of this project is preparing an outline on Dugong Conservation approved by the Professional Association of Diving Instructors for divers and non-divers to learn the knowledge and skills when participating in dugong watching trips. 

Introduce Dugong

By the end of this session, you will be able to:

Know an introduction to Sirenians, conservation status, taxonomy, and identify the difference between dugongs and other Sirenian species. Recognize the dugong description, the origin of the mermaid legend. The role of dugongs plays in the marine ecosystem and its life history.

Photo Identification

By the end of this session, you will be able to:
Important of Photo identification technique (Photo ID).
Identification of dugong individuals underwater.

Code of Conduct

By the end of this session, you will be able to:
List and understand the major considerations when diving and/ or snorkeling with dugongs.

Feeding Ecology and Threats

By the end of this session, you will be able to:

know what the dugong prefers to eat.

How dugong forage?

How can you take the dimensions of the feeding trail?

Understand the different threats affecting Dugongs.

Behavioural Activities

By the end of this session, you will be able to:
Name and describe the different behavioural activities of the dugong. Assess the time budget of each behavioural bout. Recognize the surface and submergence intervals of the dugong dive cycle.


Spatial and temporal variations


Analysis of feeding trails will be used to estimate the number of dugong individuals who visited each site at different times. Different in feeding trail width is related to dugong muzzle width as well, it can distinguish between the old and young calves of narrow feeding trials close to that of a larger animal presumably their Mum. The spatial planning process aims at prioritizing areas for conservation of dugongs while also optimizing the areas prioritized for conservation to reduce conflict with all other users of the seascape.

New Technique

Underwater Laser


Three adult dugongs were measured for the total length, muzzle width, body parts, and scar widths. The correction factor using the GoPro Camera is obtained with an equation.


Visiting some areas of prediction maps


Our previous project created prediction model maps for the predicted suitable habitats of dugongs, calving areas, and a predicted density surface of the species over the study region on the Egyptian coast of the Red Sea. The suitable habitat is a very effective spatial feature to address when conservation managers need to identify areas for species conservation. The definition of suitable habitat may include areas used by the species for different activities during their life history including areas used for daily forage, nesting and reproduction areas, and influence territories.

Dugong sighting at in a suitable habitat during breathing at surface


Spatial and temporal distribution


لإhe Red Sea has many locations with different environmental conditions and reef structures that affects the distribution of various species of sharks in the area. Specific goals of the project are: 1) to assess the presence of different species of sharks at different diving sites in the Egyptian Red Sea; 2) to identify different individual oceanic whitetip sharks (OWT) and monitor visiting patterns by creating an identification catalogue; 3) examining the sex ratios of visiting OWT and their re-occurrence patterns monthly; d) to assess the impacts on sharks, fishing and diving activities; 4) assessing the normal or abnormal behaviour of identified sharks toward divers; 5) to create awareness of divers at different diving centres along the Egyptian Red Sea; and 6) to create a management plan for Elphinstone Reef, Brothers Islands and Dedalus Reef.

PHOTO-ID Program

Oceanic Whitetip Shark

The main parts in the body of oceanic whitetip sharks that were used in photo identification: (a) the shape of the tip and pigmentation patches of the dorsal fin, (b) the lower lobe of the caudal fin, and (c) the sex of the shark

Laser Photogrammetry

Using this technique underwater is highly recommended to examine the sexual maturity of individual sharks by measuring the total lengths of the sharks. It is an effective method to explore the sexual maturity of sharks, by measuring the body size of sharks underwater.

The purpose of the PADI Shark Ecology Specialty Diver Course is to facilitate the assessment of the presence of different species of sharks at different diving sites in an area. To enrol on the course, the diver should be a certified advanced open water diver with a minimum of 50 logged dives.  For course contents, click here.


Behavioural ecology and sustainable use


The main aims were to investigate the ecological and behavioural aspects of the spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris) IN in the Egyptian Red Sea. For ecological aspects, the following parameters were recorded: 1) The presence of different habitats in Samadai Reef including environmental parameters, coral reef communities, coral reef fishes and bottom profiles, 2) Occurrence of dolphins about the main zones and subzones, 3) Population structure of dolphins such as grouping, group size, and composition, 4) Photo identification for individuals, and 5) Other observations like associated animals, shark bites. For behavioural, the following criteria were investigated: 1) Group behaviour such as resting, milling, travelling, fleeing and social behaviour, 2) Group coordination, 3) Diving behaviour, 4)Aerial behaviour with its different types, and 5) Social behaviours like resting, nursing, mating, eliminative and playing.




Spinner dolphins, Stenella longirostris, are the primary target for marine mammal tourism in Egypt. Our study examines the short‐term effects of tourist presence on the behaviour of spinner dolphins by investigating the effect of tourist presence on the transition probabilities between dolphin activity states. Dolphin behaviour was monitored both on days when tourist boats were present and on days when they were absent. Tourist activities affect the dolphins’ behaviour to a greater extent than was previously apparent, with potential long‐term negative effects on their energy budget.


Monitoring coral reef health and recovery


Coral bleaching is the whitening of coral due to a loss of symbiotic algae living within the coral tissue. In healthy coral, algae supplies energy and provides colour. During bleaching events, coral expels the algae from their tissue which changes the colour of the coral. As coral expels more algae the coral becomes lighter in colour. We follow the methodology of CoralWatch which uses the Coral Health Chart as a cheap, simple, non-invasive method for the monitoring of coral bleaching, and assessment of coral health. In the field, users simply compare colours of corals with colours on the chart and record matching codes while diving, snorkelling or reefwalking.

The purpose of the PADI CoralWatch Coral Health Chart Specialty Diver Course is to use the chart to standardise changes in coral colours, and provide a simple way for people to quantify coral health and contribute to the CoralWatch global database. To enrol on the course, the diver should be a certified junior open water diver. Snorkelers can participate but with special considerations.  For course contents, click here.