Russia. Dead seals on the coast of the Caspian Sea in the Republic of Dagestan
In the Russian Republic of Dagestan, dead seals are found on the coast of the Caspian Sea. The local ministry of natural resources and the environment announced on Sunday that 2,500 dead animals had been found. These seals belong to an endangered species. The cause of their death is still unknown.
On Saturday, the authorities of the Republic of Dagestan reported 700 dead seals. The next day, Zaur Gapizov, head of the Caspian Center for Environmental Protection, an NGO, was quoted by the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti as saying that about 1,700 dead individuals had already been found.
Later on Sunday, Dagestan’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment said on Telegram that the count of dead seals was continuing, and their number had increased to 2,500. The cause of their deaths is to be known after examining the samples taken.
In a statement posted on the organization’s website, Gapizov said that the animals probably died two weeks ago. There is no indication that they were killed by poachers, added the head of the Caspian centre.
In the first half of November, more than 140 dead Caspian seals were found on the beaches of the Caspian Sea in Kazakhstan, KASPIKA, an organization working for the protection of this species, reported.
Caspian seals are threatened with extinction
The Caspian Sea is surrounded by five countries: Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan. Caspian seals living in it (caspica), also called Caspian ringed seals, are endemic there. They are the only marine mammals that live in this largest lake in the world.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), their population suffers from hunting, environmental destruction and climate change. In 2008, ringed seals were included in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Data on the number of seals in the Caspian Sea range from 300,000 (data from the Federal Fisheries Agency) to 70,000. (data from the Caspian Center for Environmental Protection).
Main photo source: Shutterstock | illustrative photo
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