Translator Disclaimer
1 July 2008 Pup Production and Breeding Distribution of the Caspian Seal (Phoca caspica) in Relation to Human Impacts
Author Affiliations +
Abstract

Aerial surveys of Caspian seals on the winter ice field in Kazakhstan territorial waters were carried out in February 2005 and 2006 to assess the annual pup production for the species and natural predation on newborn pups. Estimated pup production was 21 063 in 2005 and 16 905 in 2006 (including an estimated figure for pups born in Russian territory in each year). The breeding population size of approximately 20 000 females is much less than published estimates from the late 1980s. Eagles were the principal natural predators of pups. Commercial icebreaker routes passed through areas of dense pup concentrations in 2006, although not in 2005. Our findings have important implications for the development of conservation strategies for the species. Natural mortality, loss to predators, and, more important, the current hunting quota substantially exceed the recruitment of the Caspian seal population. Anthropogenic sources of mortality should be managed to avoid further declines in the species.

Tero Harkonen, Mart Jüssi, Mirgaly Baimukanov, Anders Bignert, Lilia Dmitrieva, Yesbol Kasimbekov, Mikhail Verevkin, Susan Wilson, and Simon J. Goodman "Pup Production and Breeding Distribution of the Caspian Seal (Phoca caspica) in Relation to Human Impacts," AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment 37(5), 356-361, (1 July 2008). https://doi.org/10.1579/07-R-345.1
Received: 30 April 2007; Accepted: 1 November 2007; Published: 1 July 2008
JOURNAL ARTICLE
6 PAGES

This article is only available to subscribers.
It is not available for individual sale.
+ SAVE TO MY LIBRARY

SHARE
ARTICLE IMPACT
RIGHTS & PERMISSIONS
Get copyright permission
Back to Top