700 rare seals found in Red Book off Russian coast
On December 4, local officials announced that about 700 seals of species listed in the Red Book had been found dead off the coast of the Caspian Sea in Russia.
Ϲaspi seal caught in a net. (Photo: Ministry of Ecology of Kazakhstan).
“The number of seal carcasses found may increase. The cause of death has not yet been determined,” ƬASS cited information from the regional fisheries agency.
The Caspian seal is the only mammal in the Caspian Sea and has been listed on the Red List of Threatened Species since 2008.
According to ϹNN, on December 4, dead seals washed up on the coast of the Russian Republic of Dagestan, the Caspian Sea is the largest lake in the world and is associated with 5 countries: Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan.
More than 140 Caspian seals were found dead in waters off Kazakhstan earlier this year, according to KASPIKA, the Caspian seal species monitor.
In September, Kazakhstan’s ecology ministry reported that 130 seals had died and washed ashore off the country’s west coast, according to AFP.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (UCN), the Caspian Sea seal population is declining due to overhunting, habitat degradation and climate change. Experts say there are only about 68,000 Caspian seals left, compared with more than 1 million since the early 20th century.