Autumn Aerial Survey of Caspian Seals in Kazakhstan

On November 4, 2023, the Institute of Hydrobiology and Ecology and Tengizchevroil LLP conducted an aerial survey of the Caspian seals on sandbanks (shalygi) located in the northeastern Caspian Sea. Specialists observed numerous seal haul-outs.

From spring to autumn, seals spend time mainly in the Middle and Southern Caspian, actively feeding on fish. They live alone or in small groups. And in autumn, most of the population gathers in the Northern Caspian, where they haul-out on sandy islands and sandbanks in anticipation of ice field forming. In winter, Caspian seal pups are born on ice. In recent years, due to climate heating, ice fields suitable for seal breeding have been mainly appeared in Kazakhstan waters of the Northern Caspian.

Caspian seals on a sandbank in the northeastern Caspian Sea, November 2023. The photo by the Institute of Hydrobiology and Ecology.

‘We have discovered numerous haul-outs in the northeastern Caspian Sea. We will inspect photo and video images during November and December this year,’ commented on results of the carried out aerial survey Mirgaliy Tuleugalievich Baimukanov, Director of the Institute of Hydrobiology and Ecology, Irgeli, Kazakhstan, ‘The reseach will allow us to estimate the number of hauling-out animals before the beginning of ice period in Caspian seals life, which is important for their reproduction. The aerial survey has been carried out by specialists from our institute and Tengizchevroil LLP under Save the Caspian Seal Project funded by Tengizchevroil LLP.’

In the top photo: participants in the aerial survey of Caspian seals, November, 2023. The photo was credited by the Institute of Hydrobiology and Ecology.



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