«The Baikal Seal Year» project was included in the list of the 100 best projects of the Presidential Grants Foundation in 2018.
Within the project Lake Baikal Foundation conducted satellite tagging of seals, selected biological materials for laboratory research using non-invasive and minimally invasive methods and conducted toxicological and virological analyses. In addition, methodological materials were developed for conducting school lessons about the Baikal seal. In 2019, 2,459 children from the Irkutsk region and the Republic of Buryatia took part in offline lessons. An online lesson about the Baikal seal was also launched with the participation of experts from A.N. Severtsov Institute for Ecology and Evolution of RAS for a wide audience with a focus on students in grades 5-11 on the Stepik educational platform. The online lesson was watched by more than 50,000 viewers.
Lake Baikal Foundation is especially grateful to all those who supported the idea of the project and contributed to its implementation at various stages: the Foundation’s research partner, the developer of the scientific program for the study of the Baikal seal — A.N. Severtsov Institute for Ecology and Evolution of RAS, federal state budgetary institution «Zapovednoye Podlemorye», which hosted the research group in the protected area and helped organize the expedition, the «World Around You Foundation», which provided significant financial and informational support to the project, the Stepik platform for free shooting of the online lesson, as well as all people who made donations on our website and on the website of the «Nuzhna Pomosch» Foundation. Each contribution to this project made a difference, allowed us to get a presidential grant and start a comprehensive study of the Baikal seal.
The Baikal seal research project is a long-term project. Serological and hormonal studies will be conducted this year and genetic studies of the Baikal seal are planned for 2021.
We thank the Presidential Grants Foundation for its high expert assessment of the initiative for the comprehensive study of the Baikal seal!