From the 8th to 25th of April. 2021, an expedition of the Institute of Hydrobiology and Ecology (Irgeli, Kazakhstan) took place in order to monitor the number of seals on hauling-out sites in the Kazakh part of the Caspian Sea. The search for haul-out sites was carried out in the northeastern part of the sea, from the Kalamkas Region to Remontniye Shalygi (sandy islets), using a hovercraft and an airboat. When finding accumulations of seals, the members of the expedition carried out their photo and video filming from drones.
At present, according to the images obtained, the scientists are counting the number of seals lying at each point of their observation, measuring their linear dimensions using a special method. On the basis of stationary comprehensive studies, they are trying to find out the regularities of spring haul-out site formation and local migrations of Caspian seals. Scientists note that due to the regression of the Caspian Sea, the spring haul-out sites of seals are shifting westward to the newly formed islands and islets of sand. The results of the assessment of distribution, abundance, and size structure of the Caspian seal spring haul-outs will be reported this autumn.
The research by the Institute of Hydrobiology and Ecology is carried out jointly with the Fisheries Research and Production Center of the Ministry of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources of the Republic of Kazakhstan.