foto credits: By Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth - https://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/SearchPhotos/photo.pl?mission=ISS044&roll=E&frame=22804, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=75624410

Soul of the Caspian

The expeditions of the project ‘Soul of the Caspian’ were completed in November. Soul of the Caspian – with such warmth and love, the project organisers and participants call the Caspian seal, the only marine mammal, endemic to the sea. The project was embodied the long-term dream of Clean Seas International Ecological Foundation, and many more people – to preserve the Caspian seal, big-eyed Caspian miracle for future generations.

Specialists of Clean Seas Foundation and IEE RAS, the flight crew of the La-8 amphibious aircraft, employees of the Aerial Survey Technology Studio and Astrakhan State Nature Biosphere Reserve took part in the project autumn expeditions.
The main results of the project:

  • An aerial survey of Caspian seals has been carried out in the Russian part of the Caspian, from the border with Kazakhstan to Makhachkala (the total area – 12,000 sq. km). About 500 seals have been registered; haul-out sites of seals have been noticed only on Maliy Zhemchuzhniy Island and islets of sand adjacent to it;
  • In the area of Maliy Zhemchuzhniy, 7 seals were caught, morphometric studies were carried out, samples of biological material were taken, satellite transmitters were installed on five adult seals;
  • The ecological lesson ’AROUND THE WORLD: to see and preserve’ was held for Boarding School for Gifted Children named after A.P. Guzhvin.

The project was developed by Clean Seas Foundation in cooperation with IEE RAS. The project implementation was possible thanks to Lukoil, Rosmorport, NABU-Caucasus, Astrakhanskiy State Nature Biosphere Reserve, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation. The project “Soul of the Caspian” used photographs and videos by: V. Slodkevich, М. Khrisanova, K. Litvinov, M. Perkovskiy, V. Filippov, A. Ivanov (Russia), and M.T. Baimukanov (Kazakhstan).

Please, read more about the project on the website of Clean Seas Foundation and information partners of the project: Russia 1 – Astrakhan (GTRK Lotos) web-site and Kaspika Caspian Seals Conservation Agency web-site.

The implementation of this project was possible thanks to lots of specialists, organizations that had spent years and decades for researches of Caspian seals, rational use and inclusion the endangered species in the Red Books of the Caspian countries, the IUCN’s Red List, and in the Bonn Convention.