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Historical decline of the Caspian seal (Pusa caspica)

Historical decline of the Caspian seal (Pusa caspica)

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Uploaded 09 Oct 2013 by GRID-Arendal
Year: 2013 Author: GRID-Arendal
Description:
It is unclear how many seals remain in the Caspian Sea. From a population estimated at more than one million in the early years of the twentieth century, population estimates now vary between 110 000 and 350 000. For more than 100 years, hunting of seal pups was carried out in the frozen North Caspian area each winter. In the early twentieth century, nearly 100 000 seals were hunted each year; later a quota was set at 40,000 pups per year, further reduced to 20,000 pups per year. The hunting quota, set by the Caspian Bioresources Commission for 2007, was 18,000 seals. Even if during the last decade, no organized hunting has taken place in the North Caspian, the hunting quotas exceeded the estimated annual pup production (Härkönen et al 2008). Recent mass mortalities have reduced the seal population even further. In 2000, a mass mortality due to the canine distemper virus (CDV) caused tens of thousands of deaths throughout the Caspian (Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkme ...
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