On May 7, 2021, researchers from the Astrakhanskiy State Biosphere Nature Reserve conducted a comprehensive monitoring of Maliy Zhemchuzhniy Island (Small Pearl Island). The island is really not large, but because of this fact it does not lose its significance. It is a state natural monument of federal significance located in the northwestern part of the Caspian Sea. Maliy Zhemchuzhniy is known as a nesting place for a number of rare birds and haul-out sites for the Caspian seal.
Caspian seals were few in number, which was typical for that time of the year, when most of the adults migrated to the southern regions of the Caspian Sea. In total, several dozen individuals were recorded on islets of sand located south of Maliy Zhemchuzhniy Island, and several seals were encountered in the sea. To read more.
Author: Natalya Meshcheryakova, Head of the Laboratory of Ornithology, Leading Researcher at the Astrakhan State Biosphere Nature Reserve. The photos by Natalya Meshcheryakova and Maxim Perkovskiy.