A week on the ice – there is still ice on the sea for ringed seals

Text by Mart Jüssiwww.elfond.ee
Photographed by Bert Rähniwww.360.ee
Translation: SilverT

Ringed seal    Viigerhüljes ehk viiger      Pusa hispida

Seal mothers are not allowing the males to approach them yet – they are swimming below the ice with important faces, trying to deter others of their kind and keeping the eye on possibly several nests of the seal mothers`. Since the distances can be quite long, this business is rather tiring and the fat that was accumulated in the autumn is acting as a much-appreciated fuel. There is plenty of time to eat after the mating time!
Ice map of the weather service from last Wednesday
Ringed seals of Kihnu will be protected better
The government approved a nature reserve of Kihnu islets which are also inhabited by the animals of the year 2014, the ringed seals, in addition to various birds.
Kihnu islets and the sea area surrounding it has been so far entirely protected as Sangelaiu nature reserve, the permanent habitat of the ringed seal on Sangelaiu and as the conservation area of Pärnu bay. Now all these will be added into one nature preserve. The area of the preserve is 4178 hectares, with 4164 hectares of it being sea area and the rest is land.
Kihnu islets and the surrounding sea area is an important feeding, resting and nesting area for various species of birds and stopping place for migrating birds. The area also holds the living, breeding and resting spots for the ringed seals.




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