The Russian Academy of Sciences reveals the cause of the mass death of Caspian seals The Russian Academy of Sciences reveals the cause of the mass death of Caspian seals

The Russian Academy of Sciences reveals the cause of the mass death of Caspian seals

The Russian Academy of Sciences reveals the cause of the mass death of Caspian seals
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The Makhachkala International Conference will be held to discuss the causes of the death of seals in the Caspian Sea, with the participation of the Caspian Sea countries, from 12 to 14 next November.

“The conference will be held with the participation of scientists from the five Caspian Sea countries on the causes of the death of seals in the Caspian Sea in Makhachkala,” Andrei Adrianov, a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said at the meeting of the working group of the State Duma Committee on Environment and Natural Resources.

The international conference entitled “Caspian seals are an indicator of the state of the Caspian Sea ecosystem” is scheduled to be held from next November 12 to 14 in Makhachkala. The purpose of holding the conference is to collect the evidence base in order to make a decision on this matter, knowing that the Ministry of Natural Resources cannot obtain reliable information, including from the scientific community, as Adrianov said: “Unfortunately, science now cannot determine the number of Seals found in the Caspian Sea and the answer to the question of why they have died out over the past few years.

According to the academic, the conference will be held by the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Environment and Development. Dagestan Federal Research Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Tatiana Kovaleva, Director of the Compass Foundation for Support and Development of Environmental Initiatives, said: “Since 2022, we have installed cameras in different parts of Zhemchuzhny Island and noticed an almost complete absence of animals on the island, as only one seal was recorded. We conducted an opinion poll among local fishermen and they said They haven't spotted it at all since December 2022. "At the moment, our main hypothesis for the mortality remains that the mammals are infected with bird flu," she added.

She went on to say: “After the mass death of Caspian seals at the end of 2022, the Compass Foundation and Dagestan State University launched a program to study this type of marine animal. Within the framework of this program, we conducted, from April to December 2023, six exploratory trips to seasonal gathering areas.” The team of scientists reached the conclusion that the main hypothesis for the death of the Caspian seal is still infection with a dangerous type of bird flu.

It is worth noting that the Caspian seal is the only mammal in the Caspian Sea. In 2008, it was described as “endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. In 2015, a conservation program for this species was approved in Dagestan. In 2020, the Caspian seal was listed in the Red Book of Russia.

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