World Oceans Day: Plan Toys and the Dugong


Image Credit: Two Fish Divers

During our recent trip to Thailand, we discovered so much more about Plan Toys as a company, their ethics, their sustainability and their passion for the environment. Plan Toys support and campaign for the protection of a beautiful sea mammal called the Dugong.

We learnt a lot about these majestic mammals of the sea on our trip, and in celebration of World Oceans Day, it seems only fitting to tell you all about the amazing work Plan Toys are supporting in order to protect this species from becoming extinct.

Supporting the Dugong

The Beautiful Dugong

  • The Dugong inhabits warm waters around the Indian and Western Pacific Oceans, near seagrass beds. The Trang province in Thailand forms a large part of their habitat, which of course is the home of Plan Toys and part of the reason they have chosen to support this important conservation work
  • They are peaceful herbivores and the main bulk of their diet is seagrass and can eat up to 40kg a day!! They can reach up to 11 feet and weigh up to 2000lbs.
  • These amazing swimmers may be slow and steady but they can stay underwater for 3-12 minutes and travel a few hundred kilometres in just a couple of days
  • The Dugong can live up to around 70 years old
  • Their most closely related mammal is the elephant and are thought to have evolved around 50 million years ago when mammals entered the sea
  • The biggest threat to their species is negative human activity

An Endangered Species

There are four main issues that are endangering the Dugong:

  • The Indian Ocean earthquake of 2004 that caused a tsunami, had devastating impact on Thailand including destruction of natural habitat and seagrass, which the dugong rely on for food
  • Illegal fishing nets prevent the Dugong getting to the oceans surface in order to breathe, as they are mammals, therefore they drown. The nets also prevent them from accessing seagrass, and they die from starvation.
  • The Dugong needs to regularly switch to the surface and they are struck by boats causing gaping wounds that they will subsequently die from
  • The increase in sea pollution is destroying the seagrass that Dugongs rely on to survive

Therefore it is predominantly human behaviour that is leading to the destruction of both these creatures and their natural habitat. We need to change our behaviour before it is too late.

Image credit: Plan Toys

What can be done?

  • Plan Toys support and fund the replantation of seagrass, this is a labour intensive process, which requires seeds to be cultivated and then planted by hand. Jolene and Peter our founders were lucky enough to visit the seagrass nursery whilst in Thailand and were able to learn directly all about the work they are doing

  • Working in partnership with fisherman and local authorities to provide protected zones where fishing boats are not permitted, therefore protecting physical harm to the Dugong
  • Plan Toys provides education and resources for children about environmental issues, as it works towards being certified for the Thai Green Label Scheme from the Thailand Environmental Institute, which will recognise the company’s contribution to sustainable development

Current Progress and Impact

Due to the financial and physical support that Plan Toys provide, the seagrass is recovering and is slowly improving the natural habitat. This alongside protecting the areas the Dugong are known to inhabit from fishing boats, is already having a positive impact and there is evidence that there is increase in the Dugong population.

Hearing about the amazing work that Plan Toys are doing to protect this endangered species was a really amazing opportunity for us. The impact of their dedication, highlighted to us that when people really care, they can have a significant positive impact.

Plan Toys made us this adorable Dugong as a memory of our trip.

Babipur Beach Clean

At Babipur we are always striving to think and work in more sustainable ways. Part of this is to work in partnership with our community, and support people to reduce our environmental impact.

All week we are asking our friends and customers to join us with the Babipur Beach Clean. Even just ten minutes removing (and where possible recycling), some rubbish from your local beach or waterway will make a difference, and save it from polluting our oceans.

Join us and spread the word on social media by tagging us @babipur and using the hashtags #BabipurBeachClean #WorldOceansDay

You can also join in our Ocean themed #BabipurChallenge over on Instagram!

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39 Responses

  1. Jo says:

    Babipur beach clean is a fab idea! #bethechange

  2. Ellen says:

    What a wonderful initiative! I’ve learnt about a new animal today too ☺️

  3. rosalind westwood says:

    love the beach clean idea
    dugongs are amazing creatyrea

  4. Hannah says:

    What a fantastic conservation initiative – seagrass beds are a vital habitat for many marine creatures as well as the dugongs including seahorses, another protected species. Well done Plan Toys!

  5. Geraldine says:

    Love the dedication these companies have to trying to save our planet and the creatures we’ve endangered! Good work guys!

  6. Magpie Mimi says:

    Beautiful creatures! Perhaps they should make more dugongs with some of the profits going to their conservation? Really happy their numbers have increased already.

  7. Laura says:

    Amazing. Very interesting read. Wow well done plan toys x

  8. Tania Simonetti says:

    An incredible animal. Hope things can improve

  9. Ellie says:

    Loved reading about these animals, I’d never heard of them before. I love that Plan toys are working to help them and increase the population.

  10. Emma Baker says:

    Can you buy that dugong?
    I love them. Always remember seeing one as a child.

  11. Jolene says:

    The toys were made for promotional purposes, but we’ll definitely feed back to plantoys that there is an interest!

  12. Sarah says:

    Amazing work by Plan Toys. I thought a Dugong was a Manatee, who knew they were their own thing!

  13. Jilli Hencher says:

    This has made me love plan toys even more! And Babipur of course. What a thrill to see all this, you must of had a fabulous time ?

  14. Claire says:

    How wonderful that the choices we make when buying our daughter’s toys will help ensure that one day she too could have the opportunity to see a dugong.

  15. Caroline says:

    I love how plan toys provide a mixture of practical help and education, they really go to the source.

  16. Tia Richards says:

    This is such a wonderful read! We have visited a few beaches down here in the south west (we are lucky to have a selection and variety). And I have collected any rubbish that I’ve found, whilst teaching my son about the importance of keeping our beaches, seas and oceans clean!

  17. Noeleen Wiseman says:

    Lovely to read of the work being done to save this peaceful species.

  18. Bri says:

    Amazing Plan Toys for doing this. Learnt a lot about these animals due to this blog. Thank you.

  19. Hannah says:

    What amazing work, I didn’t know there were dugong there or even realize how the tsunami would have affected them long term! Thanks for sharing this I’m in awe of some of the people and places you get to meet/go they seem amazing and go you for supporting them!

  20. Lucy says:

    So much I didn’t know about the dugong. So wonderful to see this work towards increasing their numbers. Going to look up where our nearest waterway is to do some cleaning up x

  21. Beverley Wright says:

    What an interesting read. Love that you guys went out to Thailand to visit Plan Toys. And love Plan Toys ethics and the work they do.

  22. Kate says:

    Amazing: hope they save the heck out of the beautiful dugongs <3

  23. We’ll be doing a beach clean here in Oz. We saw Dugong just off the coast a few weeks ago. Majestic beautiful creatures. I love supporting a company that do such amazing things. I think I need aDugong as a memory for our trip here too ?

  24. Hannah says:

    Im in love with ethical toys and when i read stories like this, it just makes it so much easier to justify buying them. Well done plan toys

  25. Emily says:

    Reading about such wonderful work makes me want to support Plan Toys even more! Not just ethical in the manufacturing if toys but to actively get involved with initiatives like this is amazing. Well done Plan Toys, Babi Pur and the Dugongs! ?

  26. Julia says:

    Just imagine what good could be done if every company supported just one cause like this. Inspirational reading. That dugong toy is wonderful too.

  27. Claire says:

    The more I read about Plan Toys as a company, the more I love them!

  28. Sarah says:

    Beautiful dugongs- so glad that they are trying to help them survive. Plan toys never cease to impress me.

  29. Sarah says:

    I love that dugong. I also love real dugongs, and am becoming an even bigger fan of plan toys the more I read about them!

  30. Yvette says:

    What a fantastic initiative

  31. Rachel says:

    Oh the little one they made is so cute! Brilliant to see that their hard work is having real effects and there has been an increase in numbers!

  32. Emily Woodcock says:

    What amazing results already! Fab work to save such a beautiful creature! We live right in the middle of England so a beach clean isn’t easy for us, but plan to do a little whilst on holiday next week!

  33. Esther says:

    I’ve been so impressed with the quality of Plan Toys, and this makes me love them even more!

  34. Jenny says:

    What a beautiful creature. As we’re not near a beach we’ll doing our #babipurbeachclean on our next visit.

  35. Kate Macdonald says:

    Wonder work for such incredible creatures. Every story I hear about Plan Toys makes me love them more.

  36. Katy says:

    Love that they’re helping to protect this animal. ❤️

  37. Claire says:

    The more I read about Plan Toys, the more I love them! Such quality products and amazing ethics. So interesting to read about the dugong and the work being done to help save them. We did our own little beach clean whilst on holiday this week too.

  38. Beth says:

    Brilliant company and hands on work they are doing to help. New animal to find out about.

  39. Lois Stanley says:

    Wow this is incredible work! Plan toys are my favourite and such an ethical company! : ) xx

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