Fish and other aquatic creatures

Baikal seal: photo with description, habitat and way of life


Baikal is popular for tourists and vacationers. Where, if not here, you can relieve the fatigue of civilization and enjoy the eternal beauty of nature. Baikal is very interesting from the point of view of scientific research. There are a lot of endemics in its range. Representatives of flora and fauna are spread throughout the lake, which are not found anywhere else. Among them, a local celebrity - Baikal seal.

You can admire the cute, intelligent seals-seals on the shores of the Siberian stud-clean lake-sea in Listvyanka nappinaria. The bus and water bus timetable implies a comfortable delivery of all comers to this wonderful place. The unique location of the village makes it popular initially.

Address of the Listvyanka restaurant: Gorky Street, 101-a.

Business card of Baikal

Arriving in Listvyanka Nerpinary, you can see where the source of the beautiful Angara is located. This is the only river flowing from Baikal. Its source, one kilometer wide, is recognized as the largest in the world.

Stretching along the shore of the lake for five kilometers, Listvyanka becomes more and more comfortable every year, acquiring the appearance of a resort area. Wooden cottages are replaced by pre-fabricated cottages, the infrastructure is filled with numerous bars and cafes.

Local Attractions

20 km from the village, on the way from Irkutsk along the Baikal road, there is an ethnographic museum "Taltsy". This is a Siberian village of the 17-19 century, unpretentiously sprawled right on the open beautiful countryside. In addition to the disco, Listvyanka has other attractions:

  1. Shaman stone at the source of the Angara.
  2. The Museum of Lake Baikal with expositions devoted entirely to the wonderful lake.
  3. Dendrological Park, where rare plants grow, year-round pleasing visitors with walks along the scenic paths.
  4. Cableway, leading to the mountain. There, from the Chersky Stone, the entire source of the Angara is visible.
  5. Museum "Dolls of Soviet childhood" Oksana Tokmakova.
  6. Baikal Zoo, located in the manor "The Bears".
  7. The vacuum telescope is the largest in Russia and others.

Nerpinary in Listvyanka

Nerpinary is the only place equipped by man where Baikal seals live under supervision. Far from their homes can not be taken away. And in natural conditions it is difficult to see this mammal. The seals are very shy and secretive.

Very often, a man-made dwelling becomes a shelter for weak animals or for young calves that are left without a mother seal. Favorable conditions are created in Nerpinarii for their nursing and treatment. Here are just the will of the stronger animals then it is impossible. A tamed animal will simply die. Employees nerpinariya thought about this situation and decided to create an attraction. The result of the successful training of the seals was a fascinating performance of dancing, singing, painting and playing music animals.

Spectacular show of Baikal seals

Anyone can visit this show in Listvyanka nappinaria. The mode of operation is somewhat different in winter and summer. In winter, the object works on schedule:

  • Tuesday-Friday: 11:00 - 17:00,
  • Saturday, Sunday: 11:00 - 18:00,
  • Monday is a day off.

The gap between sessions is not more than an hour, the duration is 35 minutes. In the process of performances, the seals believe, paint in watercolor, play music on children's musical instruments, sing, play plot-role-playing games (“rescuers”) and simply delight the audience with their charm. Aquarelle masterpieces of painting the seals are sold immediately, in an order of auction. Photo and video shooting is prohibited. You can shoot at the end of the presentation for a fee.

The cost of visiting a Listvyanka restaurant:

  • adults - 500 rubles,
  • children aged 2 to 12 years - 400 rubles.

The presentation fee may seem high, but the show is worth it. These cute animals will cheer up everyone who will watch them. Both children and their parents remain delighted for a long time. Many who have been here speak with gratitude about the work of the nerpinarium on the Internet.

Interesting facts from the life of the seal

The main habitat of the Baikal seal is the Ushkany Islands, where there is plenty of food and is deserted. People are the main danger for these animals, especially for whitefish.

On May 25, an ecological holiday is held in the region, dedicated to the protection of the young seal, the seal day. Despite the fact that the status of a children's and youth holiday is not international, many people are sympathetic to the protection of the unique freshwater seal.

Many interesting facts are connected with the life of the seal:

  1. The seal is the only mammal in Baikal.
  2. The story of its appearance in the Baikal waters is a mystery for scientists.
  3. The speed of acceleration of the seal under water - 25 km / h,
  4. Diving depth - up to 200 meters, being under water for up to 20 - 25 minutes.
  5. The seal is able to slow down the pregnancy, due to the stay of the embryo in a kind of suspended animation until the next conception. Then a couple of babies are born at once.
  6. The seal bears a baby for eleven months.
  7. Milk her fat, an indicator of about 60%.
  8. The seal is built at home, scraping holes in the water under the ice. A snow cap on top serves as protection.
  9. The seals live fifty-six years.

To communicate with unique and cautious animals in nature, you need to come to the Listvyanka npripary. The mode of operation before visiting can be specified on the website. Nerpinary is located next to the souvenir market, a hundred meters from Listvyanka pier.

Seals are very positive animals, their joy is enough for everyone. They are waiting for you in Listvyanka!

Short description

Adult animals can reach a length of 165 cm, and their weight varies between 50-120 kg. The growth of seals stops only in the nineteenth year of life, however, with this, body weight may periodically gain or decrease. The Baikal seal lives on average 55-60 years.

Under water, an animal usually swims at a speed of no more than 8 km / h, but during a hunt or in the case of a threat it can significantly increase. Getting to the shore, the seal moves slowly with the help of flippers and a tail, however, sensing danger, it rushes fairly well, pushing them off the ground.

Baikal seals do not need to dive too deep. The fact is that they feed on such non-commercial fish as golomyanka, omul and goby, which are found in the lighted areas of the lake. But despite this, they are able to dive to a depth of 200-300 m and withstand a pressure of 21 atmospheres. The seal can be under water for more than one hour. This time is enough to find food or escape from persecution.

The first mention of the animal

It refers to the beginning of the XVII century. At this time, the second Kamchatka, or, as it was also called, the Great Northern Expedition, organized by Vitus Bering himself, took place here. It also included a group of researchers led by IG Gmelin. It was she who was engaged in a more in-depth study of the nature of Lake Baikal and its surroundings. It was then that the seal was first seen, which was later called the seal.

Then local residents claimed that the same animal was found not only in the waters of Baikal, but also in the Bounty lakes. It is assumed that the seal could get there in two ways - through the Lena or Vitim rivers. Some researchers are inclined to believe that a seal could penetrate there directly through Lake Baikal, since it had previously been reported to these lakes. However, none of the above assumptions has so far been found a reliable confirmation.

Favorite habitat

Baikal seal can be found throughout the reservoir, but the largest accumulation of these animals is most often observed in the middle and northern parts of the lake. However, the most favorite place of their habitat is the Ushkany Islands, which are part of the National Park called “Zabaykalsky”.

If there is no ice on the lake, the seals prefer to rest, lying on the rocks protruding from the water and basking in the sun, alternately substituting one or the other side under its warm rays. The greatest number of these animals can be observed in June, when they come to the surface for a long time and settle down along the rocky shores of the Ushkany Islands.

Where does the Baikal nerpa winter?

In the cold season, animals live on ice in special lairs located under the snow. Often they are on hummocky areas of the lake. When Baikal begins to freeze, animals make on ice the main product, the diameter of which is on average about 150 cm. It is interesting that seals can keep it in such a state for a long time, occasionally removing frost.

With the onset of severe frost, when the lake freezes, these animals, being under a layer of snow, breathe only through secondary vents. To do this, they rake the ice with the help of the forelimbs, which end in strong claws. Thus, the seal of the seal can have up to a dozen similar products located along its perimeter. The diameter of the secondary vent is no more than 15 cm. Such an opening is quite enough for the animal to be able to stick its nose there.


Sexual maturity in these animals begins in the fourth year of life in females and in the sixth year in males. The period of carrying young Baikal seals lasts 11 months. After the female turns 40, she is no longer able to give birth. Throughout her life, she can produce 20, and under favorable conditions, more cubs.

Before giving birth, the female prepares a reliable snow shelter. Usually one or two cubs are born. The weight of newborns is no more than 4 kg. Nerpats have soft white fur, which is why they are often called whitewash.

Care of offspring

The snow den is warm enough: at an external temperature of -20 ⁰C inside the “room” it is +5 C. Seal babies stay in shelter for five weeks. During this time, they eat only mother's milk and do not leave it for a minute. Before the lair begins to collapse, the belek has time to shed. The female leaves her cub only to hunt.

The lactation period of the seals is about 60-75 days. It can last much longer, since it directly depends on the presence of ice cover. Before the kids begin to hunt on their own, they completely molt. At the same time their wool from white turns to gray-silver. Change of color occurs gradually and lasts about three months. In adults, the fur seal has a brown-brown color.

Animal craft

The Baikal seal, the photo of which is located in this article, is an object of hunting. Especially prized are its meat, fat and fur, from which they sew hats. In addition, hunters often use the skin to tamp their skis. Seal meat can be eaten. Also eat and boiled flippers, which are considered a delicacy. The most tender and tasty is the meat of young individuals.

In ancient times, the fat of the seal was used in soap making and leather production. In 1895-1897, fat of animals was used in large numbers to illuminate the mines that make up the Lena gold mines. As for the locals, they were sure that the fat of the seal was medicinal, so they used it for stomach ulcers, as well as for various pulmonary diseases.

The hunting season for the Baikal seal begins in April and lasts all the time while it is possible to move around the frozen lake. In addition, the animal can be caught and with the help of nets. This method is more rational, since there are no losses that occur during the shooting. The fact is that wounded animals often go under the ice. Where they die. In our time, hunting for the seals is not prohibited. Every year at least 5-6 thousand seals are caught or shot.

The reason for the mass death

For the first time it happened in 1987. Recently, some scientists have been thoroughly studying the causes of the mass death of animals. Their diagnosis showed that the seals died because of the distemper virus. Interestingly, this disease affects both domestic and wild animals.

There is documented evidence that approximately one and a half thousand individuals died from the distemper in 1987 and 1988. At the same time, the fishing during the 80s of the last century was at least 5 thousand heads. Fortunately, the Baikal seal did not appear in the Red Book, as it was noted that the animal population exceeded the optimal number. In addition, such a shooting, according to scientists, is even useful, as it helps to reduce intraspecific competition and allows animals to gain weight faster.


The body of the seal resembles a spindle in shape, which allows the animal to slide easily in the water. Depending on the species, the size of the seal can reach 170 cm, and it weighs from 50 to 130 kg. The seal's neck is mild, sometimes it may even seem that it does not exist at all, and the body simply turns into a small, head with a flattened skull, smoothly turning into a slightly elongated face. In general, the seal's head is somewhat similar in shape to the cat's one, except for the fact that its muzzle is more elongated. The ears of the seal are absent, they are replaced by auditory passages, invisible externally.

The eyes of this animal are large, dark and very expressive. The eyes of the seal seal seem especially large: huge and dark, they seem to be even more contrasting against the background of light wool and give the little seal a resemblance not to the owl, not to some alien creature. Thanks to the third century, available to the seals, they can swim and dive without fear of damaging the eyes. However, in the open air seal eyes tend to water, which gives the impression that the animal is crying.

In the body of the seal, there is a large body of fat that helps this animal survive in the harsh cold climate and does not freeze in ice water. These same reserves of fat can help the nerve to survive a temporary hunger strike during the period of starvation, and thanks to them the animal can lie for hours and even sleep on the surface of the water. The seal of the seal is very strong and strong. It is covered with short, dense and hard wool, also protecting the animal from hypothermia, both in cold water, and on the ice or on the shore.

Between the fingers of these animals there are membranes, and on the front flippers, in addition, there are also powerful claws, thanks to which the seal makes holes in the ice in order to get to the land or to rise to the surface of the water for a breath of fresh air. Depending on the species, the color of the fur of the seals may be dark silver or brownish, while it is often covered with darker spots.

It is interesting! One of the species of these animals, the ringed seal, was so named because of its unusual color, in which the bright rings on its skin have a dark edging.

Behavior, lifestyle

The seal spends most of its life in the water. This animal is considered to be an unsurpassed swimmer: thanks to its spindly body and a small streamlined head, it dives superbly and can spend up to 70 minutes underwater, depending on the species. During diving, the auditory passages and nostrils of animals are closed, so that it can breathe under water only due to the large volume of its lungs and the air supply that fits in them.

Often these animals even sleep on the surface of the water, and their sleep is surprisingly strong: it happened that people, having swum up to the sleeping nerps, specially turned them over, and at the same time they didn’t even think to wake up. The seal spends winter under water, only occasionally rising to the surface of the water in order to take a fresh breath of fresh air. On the ice or on land, these animals begin to get closer to the beginning of spring, when the breeding season begins.

And, as a rule, the seals have favorite places for rookeries, where they gather to continue their kin. These animals perfectly see and hear, and they also have an excellent sense of smell. They are quite careful when they are awake, so getting close to the seals at this time is not an easy task. Noticing the approach of a stranger, the seal immediately without the slightest burst, goes into the water, from where for a long time with curiosity can watch the alleged enemy.

Nerps only on the ground can seem clumsy and clumsy creatures. In the water, they are active, energetic and almost tireless. Under water, the speed of movement of the seal can be 25 km / h, although in a calm atmosphere these animals swim much slower. On the shore, the seals move with the help of front flippers and tail, turning over them. In the event of a danger, they begin to jump, loudly slapping at the same time on the ice or the ground with the front flippers and starting from the solid surface with the tail.

Морские нерпы холодных широт в отличие от пресноводных, вне зависимости от времени года, предпочитают проводить большую часть времени на льду или на берегу, а не в воде, куда они ныряют только с случае опасности или для того, чтобы добыть пропитание.

It is interesting! Все нерпы — животные, ведущие в основном одиночный образ жизни. Только в период размножения они собираются стаями. Но даже при этом каждая нерпа старается держаться обособленно и отгоняет сородичей возмущённым фырканьем.

Сколько живет нерпа

In favorable conditions, the seal can live up to 60 years. In the natural habitat, this animal lives little: its average lifespan is 8-9 years. Almost half of the population of seals and at all are individuals whose average age is 5 years or less. Given that the growth of the seal continues up to 20 years, it can be argued that many animals die for a variety of reasons even before they grow to medium size.

Types of seals

There are three types of seals:

  • Ringedwhich inhabits the temperate waters of the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans and the Arctic Ocean, and in Russia it occurs in all the northern seas, as well as in the Sea of ​​Okhotsk and in the Bering Sea.
  • Caspianwhich is endemic to the Caspian Sea.
  • Baikal, not found anywhere else in the world, except Lake Baikal.

All three species differ from each other in color and, in part, in size: the Caspian seal is the smallest of them, its dimensions are about 1.3 meters in length and weighing about 86 kg.

It is interesting! Some scientists assume that all types of seals are related to each other from a common origin, and the ancestor of the Caspian and Baikal species is called the ringed seal, which migrated to Baikal and the Caspian Sea about two million years ago and evolved into two new species.

However, there is another version, according to which the ringed and Baikal seals simply had a common ancestor, which appeared later than even the Caspian type of seal.

Ringed seal

Four subspecies of this seal live mainly in polar or subpolar regions.

  • Belomorskaya The seal lives in the Arctic and is the most common seal in the Arctic Ocean.
  • Baltic The seal lives in the cold waters of the northern Baltic regions, in particular, it can be seen off the coast of Sweden, Finland, Estonia and Russia. Sometimes this animal even swims to the coast of Germany.
  • Two other subspecies of ringed seal - Ladoga and saymenskyare freshwater and inhabit Lake Ladoga and Lake Saimaa.

Baikal seal

Prefers to settle in the northern and middle parts of Lake Baikal. Ushkanye Islands are used as a favorite rookery, where in June one can observe a large accumulation of seals.

The seals, depending on their species, live either in fresh or in the salty water of lakes and seas, preferring those of them that are in cold latitudes. In winter, animals spend more time in the water, and with the onset of spring they move closer to the coast or even land on land, as do Baltic and Caspian seals.

Diet seal

Depending on the type and habitat, these animals can eat various fish or invertebrates:

  • Ringed The seals feed on crustaceans - mysids and shrimps, as well as fish: Saik, herring, smelt, whitefish, perch, goby.
  • Caspian The seals eat fish and crustaceans that live in the Caspian Sea. Especially willingly they eat small herring and sprat - these are the types of fish that make up most of their diet. The proportion of crustaceans is small - it is about 1% of the total amount of feed.
  • Baikal The seals feed on non-commercial medium-sized fish: mainly golomyanka or gobies.

It is interesting! It used to be that Baikal seals cause great damage to the whitefish, but as it turned out later, they are caught only by chance and the total number of sturgeon in the diet of the seal is no more than 1-2%.

Natural enemies

It is believed that Baikal seal There are no natural enemies in nature: only man is a danger to her. However, not often, but it happens that a brown bear hunts these animals. Cubs of the seal, which are usually safely sheltered inside the lair, in the absence of the mother, who had gone off in search of food, may become prey to foxes, sables or white-tailed eagles.

Have ringed sealliving in the ice of the Arctic, the enemies are much more. It is the seals that are the main part of the diet of polar bears, and arctic foxes and large polar gulls hunt their cubs. In water, killer whales and Greenland polar sharks are a danger to ringed seals. Sometimes they can hunt and walruses.

For Caspian sealespecially for young stock, eagles are dangerous. In the past, there have also been cases of mass death of Caspian seals that have become prey to wolves.

Population and species status

Currently, two types of seals - the Baikal and ringed, belong to quite prosperous species and they are assigned the status of "Causes the least concern." But the Caspian seals are not so lucky: because of the human economic activity leading to the pollution of the Caspian Sea, this species is in danger of disappearing. And, although at present all efforts are being made to restore the old number of Caspian seals, their number is steadily decreasing from year to year.

Nerpas have always been a valuable target, but it was he who eventually led to a reduction in the number of these animals. And, although at present all efforts are being made to prevent the seals from disappearing, one of their species faces complete extinction. And, meanwhile, the seals are amazing animals. They have a lively and curious character and are easy to train.

Under natural conditions, they like to sail to the drifting ships and watch them.. Interestingly, the age of the seals can easily be recognized by the annual rings on their fangs and claws. And this is their unique feature, not peculiar to any other animal in the world.

Business form of Baikal

Arriving in Listvyanka Nerpinary, you can see where the top of the beautiful Angara is. This is the only trunk from Baikal. Its source, one kilometer wide, is recognized as the largest in the world.

Stretching along the shore of the lake for five kilometers, Listvyanka every year is becoming more and more comfortable, taking on the appearance of a resort area. Wooden cottages are replaced by pre-fabricated cottages, the infrastructure is filled with numerous bars and a grill cafe.

Interesting data from the life of the seal

The main habitat of the Baikal seal is the Ushkanye Islands, ideally a lot of food and deserted. People are the main danger for the sake of these animals, especially for whitefish.

On May 25, an environmental holiday dedicated to the protection of the young seal is held in the region - the seal day. Despite the fact that the status of a children's and youth holiday is illiterate international, many people are sympathetic to the issue of protecting a unique freshwater seal.

There are many interesting facts connected with the life of the seal:

  1. The seal is the only mammal in Baikal.
  2. The story of its appearance in Baikal waters is a mystery to scientists.
  3. The speed of acceleration of the seal under water - 25 km / h,
  4. Capital diving - up to 200 meters, being under water for up to 20 - 25 minutes.
  5. The seal is able to slow down the pregnancy, due to the stay of the embryo in a kind of suspended animation until the next conception. Meanwhile, a couple of babies are born at once.
  6. The seal bears a baby for eleven months.
  7. Her milk is fat, an indicator of about 60%.
  8. The seal is built at home, scraping holes in the water under the ice. The snow cap on top serves as protection.
  9. Nerpy live fifty years figure.

In order to communicate with animals that are unique and cautious in nature, you need to call in Listvyanka. The mode of operation before visiting can be developed on the site. Nerpinary is located near the souvenir market, a hundred meters away from Listvyanka berth.

Seals are very positive animals, their joys are not at all. They are waiting for you in Listvyanka!