About prospects for the development of counting, tagging of the Caspian seal

© 2019. M.T. Baimukanov. Institution “The Institute of Hydrobiology and Ecology”, the Republic of Kazakhstan, Almatinskaya Oblast, Karasaiskiy District, Irgely, Rakhmetova Street, bld. 75; e-mail: institute_he@ihe.kz

About prospects for the development of counting, tagging and related in vivo researches of the Caspian seal (Pusa caspica)


The Caspian seal (Pusa caspica) is the only marine mammal in the Caspian, a transboundary species, endemic to this sea. The Caspian seal is on the IUCN Red List, being categorised as Endangered. In the conditions of the deteriorating ecological state and regression of the Caspian Sea, the trend of further decrease in this species numbers, the relevance of tagging Caspian seals to preserve their habitats is increasing. This requires improving and implementing methods for catching seals and deploying tags to reduce the level of stress on these animals, when studying their migration. The use of various types of tags will provide solution to different tasks of tracking the species. Simultaneously, it is necessary to assess the numbers and size structure of seals on haul-out sites by photographing with multicopters, as well as remotely to determine the size of individuals, investigate the adaptive behavior of seals, evaluate animal health, using ultrasound and thermal imaging methods.

These studies are necessary for an objective assessment of the population status, for obtaining data on migration, numbers, distribution, the growth and health of animals. It is relevant to study the migration of seals across the Caspian Sea, depending on oceanographic data, their local migrations, depending on regional conditions, food availability, behavior of different seal groups on haul-out sites and other data on them. The scientific basis for long-term monitoring of the Caspian seal migrations should be created.

The scientific knowledge will be of great importance for preserving seal habitats, reducing the impact of oil exploration, shipping, and fishing, and will contribute to the development of eco-tourism. The results of the works will be necessary for education and will promote the development of specially protected natural areas to preserve the Caspian seal population habitats.

To download the paper in Russian (the annotation in English is on p. 190): Baimukanov, 2019.

Photo by M.T. Baimukanov. A Caspian seal on the haul-out site in the Komsomolskiy Bay. The Northern Caspian, Kazakhstan. Spring, 2017.



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