February – December 2019
In 2019 Lake Baikal Foundation holds a unique series of activities aimed at studying the Baikal seal and sustaining the welfare of the population. «The Baikal Seal Year» project is intended to draw the attention of the public, government and business to the unique endemic species; to set the stage for systematic studying and monitoring of the only Baikal’s mammal.
The Foundation has already begun the implementation of the program in cooperation with the specialists on the seal and the development of educational materials. In 2018 the Foundation submitted an application for the presidential grant. The project participated in the contest and received the support of Presidential Grants Foundation. It became the winner in category «Environment and Animals Protection». The grant amounted to 4 658 460 rubles. The other part of the project’s budget will be covered with co-financing from Lake Baikal Foundation.
- to shape responsible and careful attitude to the Baikal seal on the part of scientific community, environmental organizations, local population of the Baikal region and people all over Russia who show interest in the Baikal seal.
- to obtain missing scientific data about current state of the Baikal seal population with non-invasive, humane methods (satellite tagging) for the first time in history of the Baikal seal observations;
- to conduct online-lessons dedicated to the Baikal seal with invited experts for schoolchildren at 100 schools of the Irkutsk region and the Republic of Buryatia; to provide the interested schools with educational materials for offline-lessons in cooperation with the Russian Movement of Students. The eco-class will coincide with the regional festival «The Baby Seal’s Day»;
- to launch a special project which includes the results of the Baikal seal scientific research and an educational part, in regional and national media;
- to work out strategies to improve the state of the endemic population in cooperation with the partners on the scientific program based on the data obtained by them;
- to work out a plan on further environmental education program on a basis of feedback from the partnering organizations of the program.
What will be done:
- we will obtain scientific data about intrapopulation processes and work out strategies on conservation and welfare of the endemic species considering the increasing level of anthropogenic influence on its habitat;
- the project will reveal the importance of the humans’ conscious attitude to the Baikal seal, mainly focusing on children – present and future keepers of the Baikal flora and fauna. The eco-lesson is aimed at preventing illegal hunting and poaching, mitigation of the human-seal conflict, increasing the level of general eco-culture, shaping conscious attitude to the Baikal’s fauna and the reasons for its degradation. The scale of the program is 5000 children;
- all data obtained during the program will be presented in a special media-project with regional and national partners: for the first time it will be told about what threats the endemic population currently faces and what the man has to do with this;
- the further development of the program implies promotion of comprehensive support of the Baikal seal population and systematic activities on its studying at the governmental level.