According to an animal welfare organization, the population of seals native to the Caspian Sea has declined sharply over the past 100 years. They estimate around 90 percent.
Moscow – Animal rights activists complain about a massive decline in the Caspian seal population. According to the Nabu nature conservation association, the total population of the endangered species has shrunk by 90 percent over the past 100 years.
According to this, around 68,000 animals are still suspected to be in the Caspian Sea. In the past few weeks, animal rights activists have been counting the stocks on Russian territory.
500 seals were registered, said Marco Philippi of the German press agency, who is responsible for the Caucasus at Nabu. Five animals were equipped with a transmitter and seven other blood and tissue samples were taken. Countries such as Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Iran are located on the Caspian Sea.
“However, in order to be able to make reliable statements about the total population in the Caspian Sea, one would have to count simultaneously in Russia and Kazakhstan in winter, since the animals migrate north in winter to raise their young on the ice,” said Philippi. “We are planning such counts for the future.”
In the spring and at the end of last year, a total of hundreds of dead seals were washed up on the Russian coast of the Caspian Sea. Russian authorities believed they were caught in safety nets. The animals are considered to be endangered. Experts cite poaching, oil production and bycatch as reasons.
Another important point is the decline in ice surfaces caused by climate change, said Philippi. “As a result, the habitat that seals need to raise their young is disappearing.” What impact this would have on breeding success and what influence factors such as hunting or water pollution would now have to be found out urgently in order to initiate targeted protective measures. dpa
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