Conservation challenges for landlocked seal species

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Workshop as part of the Marine Mammals of the Holarctic IX Conference, Astrakhan, Russia, 31st October to 5th November 2016

Conservation challenges for the Caspian seal and other landlocked seals

Organiser: Expert and Advisory Working Group for the Caspian seal study and conservation

Responsible persons: Rozhnov V.V., Goodman S. J.

Workshop overview and objectives

In Eurasia there are 2 species and 2 sub-species of seal inhabiting landlocked water basins, the Baikal seal (Pusa siberica), Caspian seal (Pusa caspica), Ladoga seal (Pusa hispida ladogensis), and Saimaa seal (Pusa hispida saimensis). Baltic ringed and Baltic grey seals (Pusa hispada botnica; Halichoerus grypus), can also be considered alongside the other landlocked seals because of distributions confined to the limits of the Baltic Sea. Being landlocked means these taxa cannot shift their range in response to environmental or ecological change and makes them vulnerable to a wide range of anthropogenic pressures. In this workshop we will examine the current status, threats, and conservation priorities for these landlocked seals. The aim is to take a comparative approach, using case studies from each species/sub-species to evaluate to what extent common features of ecology, life history and environment influence vulnerability to specific conservation threats; and to identify shared conservation challenges and potential solutions. The workshop will be structured around presentations and discussions of impacts arising from different classes of conservation threat.

Contributions on all landlocked seals are welcomed, and Caspian seals in particular. For outputs we aim to synthesize the current state of knowledge for these taxa, identify priorities for further research, and develop a roadmap for future integrated, collaborative research and conservation efforts.

The organisers of the round table suggest sending the applications for the participation in this discussion including the following themes listed below:

The main themes for reports and discussions:

  1. Overview – Status and conservation threats for lake seals
  2. Hunting, poaching and IUU fisheries threats and impacts on lake seals
  3. Impacts of anthropogenic pollutants on lake seals and their environments
  4. Habitat loss and industrial activities
  5. Impacts of disease, climate and ecosystem change and other natural factors on lake seals
  6. Conservation priorities for lake seal species

Submission of abstracts as per the main conference deadline on 1st September

A detailed agenda will be created on the base of your applications sent for the participation in this discussion.