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A rare albino seal was spotted on Lake Baikal

12.06.2022 ТАСС 90 просмотров

An unusual individual was found on the rookery of the Ushkany Islands.


A rare adult albino seal lives on the eastern shore of Lake Baikal, in Buryatia. An unusual animal was seen by a state inspector in the field of environmental protection Valery Vtorushin, the press service of the Federal State Budgetary Institution "Reserved Podlemorye" reported.

"The seal was found on the rookery of the Ushkany Islands of Lake Baikal. This is a light-colored, almost white individual, which contrasts against the background of gray relatives," the message says.

White color is characteristic only for Baikal seal cubs in their first month of life. These are the so-called belki. As they get older, they shed and acquire a gray color, like in ordinary adults.

"Individuals of light color are found in many representatives of the animal world. This is due to the lack or complete absence of the melanin pigment due to genetic abnormalities," explained in the "Reserved Podlemorye".

The Baikal seal is the only seal species in the world that lives in fresh water. It lives in Lake Baikal. Because of the valuable fur, these animals have been a commercial species for a long time, their population was threatened, and the seals stopped being mined en masse in 2007. The Federal State Budgetary Institution "Reserved Podlemorye" provides the study and protection of three unique sites on the northeastern side of the lake: the Trans-Baikal National Park, the Barguzinsky Reserve and the Frolikhinsky Reserve.

Baikal is the deepest lake on the planet (the maximum depth is 1,642 m), the largest natural reservoir of fresh water, containing about 20% of its world reserves. Baikal and its coastal territories are distinguished by a unique variety of flora and fauna. There are about 2.6 thousand species and subspecies of aquatic animals, more than half of which are endemic, that is, found only in this reservoir. In 1996, the lake was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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