A new-born ring seal like the ones are dying right now in the Baltic Sea
The exceptionally warm winter is wreaking havoc on the young Ring Seal population in the Baltic Sea and WWF fear that about 500 pups have already died in recent weeks.
"The situation is dire. In some regions perhaps not a single one of the pups born in recent weeks will survive" said Cathrin Muenster, WWF Germany Spokesman.
This time the cause of the problem is not the hunters with their spiked clubs but the unnatural heat of this winter, which makes the ice melting too early. Normally, ring seals give birth on ice floes, and there they take care of the pups 40-90 days, during which the cubs build up a thick layer of blubber. But with the ice melting after just twoo weeks seal pups are going into the water too early where they starve and die a painful death from the cold. Because of the lack of ice, some seal mothers had even given birth on small islands or on the mainland, where predators will likely kill the pups. The result is that this year's whole new generation is doomed and the future of the Baltic Ringed Seal is very gloomy, with the scientists foreseeing the Baltic Sea transformed in a new Mediterranean in a century's time.
Two very famous pictures of ringed seals:
Photograph by Paul Nicklen
Photograph by Baard Næss
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