What is a nerpa?

The Baikal seal or nerpa (Pusa sibirica) is a species of earless seal endemic to Lake Baikal in Siberia the deepest lake in the world. One of the smallest true seals, it’s related to the Arctic ringed seal, and the only one to live exclusively in fresh water.

Do Baikal seals have predators?

The main predators of seals are killer whales, polar bears, leopard seals, large sharks, and human beings.

Is there such thing as a freshwater seal?

The freshwater seals are seals which live in freshwater bodies. The only exclusively freshwater seal species is the Baikal seal, locally named nerpa (). The others are the subspecies or colonies of regular saltwater seals. These include two subspecies of ringed seal: the Ladoga seal and the Saimaa ringed seal.

How many Lake Baikal seals are there?

60,000 seals One thing is certain, it’s the only true freshwater seal in the world and lives nowhere else. There are around 60,000 seals on Lake Baikal and the small rocky islands are much in demand for sunbathing.

What do Nerpa seals eat?

fish Diet and Nutrition Baikal seals are carnivores (piscivores), they feed mainly on fish species that have no commercial value for humans, and juvenile seals sometimes also eat amphipods.

How long do Baikal seals live?

50 years old During the spring and summer, groups as large as 500 can form on the ice floes and shores of Lake Baikal. Baikal seals can live to over 50 years old, exceptionally old for a seal, although the females are presumed to be fertile only until they are around 30.

Is seal a freshwater fish?

Seals. Several seal species, e.g., the ringed seal (Phoca hispida) of northern latitudes, have some populations which breed in fresh waters, but the Baikal seal (P. sibirica) of eastern Russia is the only species living solely in fresh water.

How much does a Baikal seal weigh?

200lbs Adult Baikal seal / Mass An adult Baikal seal will measure between 1.2 and 1.4m (4 and 4.5ft) long with a weight between 80 and 90kg (175-200lbs). Males tend to be smaller than females. Baikal seals are carnivores. They will feed on fish and some invertebrates which are found in the lake.

Can harbor seals live in freshwater?

1. Harbor seals can be found in freshwater rivers and lakes, as well as marine waters.

Do seals need salt water?

SEALS drink seawater at least on occasion. … Some species of seals and sea lions apparently do drink seawater at least occasionally, as do common dolphins and sea otters, but the practice is very rare in some other species. When given the choice, manatees and some pinnipeds will drink fresh water.

Where does the world’s only freshwater seal live?

Lake Baikal Found only in Lake Baikal, the Baikal seal (Pusa sibirica), also known as the nerpa, is one of the only freshwater seal species in the world.

Can you drink water from Lake Baikal?

Baikal is a fresh water lake, so it is possible to take the water from the lake directly, boil it, and then drink it.

How old do seals get?

Life Span of a Seal Both the Grey and Common seal have been known to live more than 30 years. One female Grey seal around the Shetland Isles in Scotland was known to be 46 years old.

What lives in Lake Baikal?

Other land-based species around Lake Baikal include bears, reindeer, elk, wild boar, Siberian roe deer, polecats, ermine, sable and wolves. American minks, imported from Canada, also live around Lake Baikal, according to Baikal World Web. More than 50 species of fish live in Lake Baikal, according to Baikal World Web.

How long do Mother seals carry their pups for?

Mothers nurse their pups for approximately 16 days. After pups are weaned, mothers may leave the colony but pups remain for several more days or weeks living off blubber reserves.

What is the world’s only indigenous species of freshwater seals?

One of its most famous animal species is the Baikal seal (also called the nerpa). It is one of the world’s smallest seals, and it is the only species of seal in the world to live exclusively in a freshwater habitat.

What do fresh water seals eat?

All species of seal generally eat octopus, squid, shellfish, cod, herring, flounder, sculpin, salmon, mackerel, sandeel, shrimp, whelk, and other crustaceans such as krill.

Where can I see Baikal seals?

Siberia The Baikal Seals are named after Lake Baikal, which is the only place in the world where these special little seals are found. Lake Baikal in Siberia is itself a record-holding site.

Where is Lake Baikal in Russia?

Siberia Situated in south-east Siberia, the 3.15-million-ha Lake Baikal is the oldest (25 million years) and deepest (1,700 m) lake in the world. It contains 20% of the world’s total unfrozen freshwater reserve.

How do seals sleep?

Seals sleep in the water as well as on land. In the water, they sleep floating in a standing position, like a fishing bobber, or floating horizontally on the surface. Because they are sleeping and not actively swimming, they can stay under water much longer than when hunting for food.

How long can seals stay out of water?

How long can seals stay out of the water? Seals can stay out of the water for extended periods of time, depending on the needs of the individual animal. It can be completely normal for some species of seals to spend several days to even a week at a time out of the water.

Is a seal and sea lion the same?

Sea lions (left) are brown, bark loudly, walk on land using their large flippers and have visible ear flaps. Seals have small flippers, wriggle on their bellies on land, and lack visible ear flaps. … Secondly, sea lions have small flaps for outer ears. The earless or true seals lack external ears altogether.

What climate do seals live in?

Arctic Habitat. True seals typically live in the cold ocean waters of the Arctic or off the coasts of Antarctica. Some seals make caves in the snow to live in. Others never leave the ice pack and poke breathing holes in the ice, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

Why are Nerpa’s flippers bigger than saltwater seals?

Their flippers are bigger and stronger than other seal’s flippers. … Nerpas also have more blood about two liters more than other seals, which lets them store oxygen for longer, and therefore stay underwater longer than some of their other seal buddies.

Who eats ringed seals?

polar bears Ringed seals are the most common prey of polar bears; in fact, a polar bear may kill a ringed seal every 2 to 6 days. Ringed seals are also preyed upon by walruses and killer whales. Pups are eaten by polar bears, arctic foxes, red foxes, and ravens.

What eats a polar bear?

Adult polar bears have no natural predators except other polar bears. Cubs less than one year old sometimes are prey to wolves and other carnivores. Newborn cubs may be cannibalized by malnourished mothers or adult male polar bears.

Why are ringed seals going extinct?

In December 2012, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that the ringed seal, as well as the bearded seal, would be listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act because of the risks posed by melting sea ice and reduced snowfall.