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Baikal Seal


Scientific Name:
Pusa sibirica
Length:
1.2 - 1.4 m (3.9 - 4.6 ft)
Weight:
63 - 70 kg (139 - 154 lbs)
Status:
good to go
Prey:
Golomyanka, omul, some types of invertebrates; Kessler's sculpin during winter time

Physical characteristics

Has a dark silvery gray fur on upperside and lighter yellow-gray fur on underside.

Behavioral characterization

Can dive up to 100 m to feed.

Distribution

Lake Baikal (Russia)

Population size

80,000 - 100,000

Predators

Occasionally brown bears

Migration/Dispersal patterns

They migrate to bays and coves in early autumn.

Social system/Group size

They are usually solitary, but several individuals might share holes in the ice and large groups gather around April to feed.

Major threats

They highly suffer from pollution. Factories and towns taint the lake with sewage and industrial waste, fertilisers and pesticides enter from the sirrounding agricultural land. They are also hunted by humans (legally and illegally). The phocine distemper virus has also caused many deaths.

Research efforts

N/A

Fun fact

The Baikal seal is the only freshwater pinniped.