Dead dugong found floating in Fraser Coast creek
A DEAD dugong has been spotted by a boatie in a creek near Poona.
Ron Richard-Preston shared photos of the male sea mammal to Facebook.
The images were met with speculation it could have been struck by a boat or caught in a net.
Yvonne Miles, marine biologist and managing director of Scanning Ocean Sectors, said it was hard to tell from the photo what might have happened to the dugong.
"It's an impossible task," she said.
Ms Miles is currently researching the region's dugong population.
She said the death could have been caused by any number of reasons.
Ms Miles said it would by difficult to chalk it up to some kind of external trauma unless there were clear signs, such as propeller cuts.
"It could be a very isolated case," she said.
Ms Miles said sea grass beds in the region had completely changed and that would be part of her research into the species.
The animals are vulnerable to boat strikes, especially during popular seasons for recreational fishermen.
While dugongs had exceptional hearing, they could become confused when there were several boats in the area, failing to recognise which direction the noises were coming from, Ms Miles said.
Natalie Richardson from Wildlife Rescue Fraser Coast said she was also unsure what may have caused its death.
She said the netting theory was one option but there was a range of other possible causes.
Along with the dead dugong, there have been other sea creatures found sick or dead over the past few days.
Ms Richardson said more than half a dozen sea turtles, including endangered and vulnerable species, had been spotted floating or washed up on the beach.
Several had been taken to the hospital at Australia Zoo.
A sea snake had also been rescued, Ms Richardson said.
To make a report of sick or dead wildlife, call the RSPCA on 1300 264 625 or contact Fraser Coast Wildlife Rescue on 4121 3146.