Russia. Dead seals on the shores of the Caspian Sea in the Republic of Dagestan

In Dagestan, Russian Republic, dead seals are found on the shores of the Caspian Sea. The local Ministry of Natural Resources and 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, authorities in the Republic of Dagestan reported 700 dead seals. The next day, the head of the Caspian Center for Environmental Protection was quoted by the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti as saying that around 1,700 dead people had already been found.

Later on Sunday, Dagestan’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment reported in a telegram that the number of dead seals was continuing, and that the number had risen to 2,500. The cause of their death will be known only after the samples taken are analyzed.

In a statement posted on the organization’s website, Kapisov said the animals may have died two weeks ago. The head of the Caspian Center said there was no sign that they had been killed by poachers.

In the first half of November, more than 140 dead Caspian seals were found on the shores of the Caspian Sea in Kazakhstan, according to KASPIKA, an organization working to protect the species.

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Caspian seals are endangered

The Caspian Sea is surrounded by five countries: Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan. Caspian seals living in it (caspica), also known as Caspian ring seals, are found there. They are the only marine mammals living in the world’s largest lake.

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According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), their populations are vulnerable to poaching, environmental degradation and climate change. In 2008, ringed seals were added to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Estimates of 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).

Caspian sealShutterstock

Main photo source: Shutterstock | Illustrative photo

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