First results: Gulf of Finland Year Video Diary

What we remember from passing year 2014? First of all, the fact that it was dedicated to our common water body, the Gulf of Finland. Trilateral cooperation project «Year of the Gulf of Finland» held in Russia, Finland and Estonia, will be officially closed in March, 2015, but now we can sum up the results and recall the brightest events.

1. A seal per day. Perhaps the most memorable thing of the passing year was saving the seals. From March 15 to April 29 Center for the Study and conservation of marine mammals got a record number of animals for rehabilitation. There were 29 kids rescued: among them 23 grey seals, 5 Baltic ringed seals and 1 Ladoga ringed seal. Rehabilitation of eternally hungry horde of seals was provided by only two people - zoologists and founders of the center Vyacheslav Alekseev and Elena Andrievskaya. In rush hours of the season specialists had only two hours for sleeping a day!

Первые недели сезона реабилитации – 2014

But they managed it! And after the most mass release in the history of rehabilitation seals on June 25, 2014, when 10 animals were set free, their lives became much easier. The last release of the season took place on July 16 when five ringed seals and seal pup Hippo were released. But the work did not end there. A large-scale reconstruction of the center began, and on the 5th of September the unique specialized center for the treatment and rehabilitation of marine mammals of the Baltic region appeared in Russia. The center has no analogues in St. Petersburg.

Самый массовый тюлений «выпускной» 25 июня 2014 года

In addition, the Fund of Baltic seal friends was registered. This organization raises funds for the rehabilitation of the seals on a research project aimed at preserving the Baltic ringed seal the Gulf of Finland. Now the fund has a website, and everyone can help rare animals os St.Petersburg and Leningrad region.

2. International Affairs. Our neighbors across the bay - Finland and Estonia - also had a very busy year. Finnish Environment Institute SYKE was responsible for large-scale research of all the parameters of the Gulf of Finland: geology, composition of water, climatic factors, ecosystems, flora and fauna of the Gulf coasts, as well as the influence of anthropogenic factors.

Эстонский проект мечения балтийских кольчатых нерп Финского залива

Estonia has implemented a number of important research projects. Zoologists Vyacheslav Alekseev and Elena Andrievskaya participated in one of them — marking Baltic ringed seal. They helped to catch the animals and to set GPS and GSM sensors on them. Now all the marked animals, which are adult males are being closely monitored. Data transmitted by the device can not only keep track of the daily activity and movement of seals, but also to learn about the depth of their diving, water temperature and other conditions of their lives.

This will allow a better understanding of how Baltic seals live in the and what they are threatened with. So, it will be possible to develop a more effective plan of saving them. The problem of preserving the ringed seal the Gulf of Finland is particularly relevant now because the number of our subpopulation is only about 200 individuals. That is why the Baltic ringed seal became a symbol of the Year of the Gulf of Finland.

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