Carnivorous killer whales are included in the Red Book of Russia for the first time

The carnivorous population of killer whales in the Far East will be included in the Red Book of Russia. Their trade will now be banned. In addition to killer whales, nearly 30 species of birds and 14 mammals will be included in the new version of the document.

Russian authorities have officially acknowledged the existence of two reproductively isolated populations of killer whales – carnivores and fish-eaters. The carnivorous population living in the Far East will be described as a rare species, the export of which is prohibited.

Killer whales, which belong to the fish-eating population, are not a commercial object: they hunt fish far from the shore and go to great depths. Carnivores, on the other hand, which feed on fin-footed and other marine mammals, come in shallow water and closed bays during the hunt, where it is easier for hunters to block their escape routes. For this reason, carnivorous killer whales are so few that ecologists have been trying for years to include the population in the Red Book of the Russian Federation.

Prior to that, in 2018, the carnivorous killer whale was included only in the Red Book of the Kamchatka Territory, but this did not save them from being caught – they were fished for further sale in China off Sakhalin and north of Khabarovsk Territory. All 10 whale killers living in the “Whale Prison” in Srednyaya Bay were representatives of the carnivorous population.

According to the Ministry of Natural Resources, work on the new edition of the Russian Red Book has been going on for a long time. The current document is dated 1997, and the lists must be updated every 10 years. Both the list of animals to be included in the Red Book of the Russian Federation and the process of preparing this list have caused much controversy.

As a result of the work done, only for the most numerous taxa – mammals and birds – 43 new items were included in the list.

The list of species under special state protection for the first time also includes the carnivorous killer whale, a small population of which lives in the Far East. These cetaceans prey exclusively on marine mammals: seals and whales, regulating their numbers in the North Pacific and adjacent seas, including the waters of the Kronotsky and Koryaksky Nature Reserves and the Federal Reserve.

“The inclusion of the carnivorous killer whale on the list is a joint effort of authorities at all levels, scientists and the environmental community. Last year, everyone rescued prisoners from the so-called Whale Prison in Primorsky Krai. This should not happen again. You need to keep an eye on these animals in their natural environment during boat trips. “The managers of protected water areas envisage such educational trips for tourists”, the decision comments Head of the Ministry of Natural Resources of Russia Dmitry Kombilkin.

The reason why scientists and ecologists have asked for the carnivorous killer whales to be included in the Red Book of the country is the low number of these animals: no more than 250 people in the northwestern part of the Sea of ​​Okhotsk.

“The conservation and study of marine mammals, informing the public about the problems of cetaceans and fins is one of our priority tasks. We protect more than 20 species, including killer whales, which occupy an important ecological position in the North Pacific. “These are social and very beautiful animals, a favorite object of observation of tourists on boat trips”, he stressed. Pyotr Shpilenok, Director of the Federal State Financial Institution “Kronotsky State Reserve”.

A new list of animals included in the Red Book of the Russian Federation has been prepared for submission for registration to the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation.

For the first time, 29 species of birds are recorded in the country’s Red Book, including the black larynx, the small spoon, the gray goose, the bean soup, the killer whale, the glass, the Siberian, the Kamchatka, the largest eagle. , big ptarmigan, black-grained kapargoulis, Icelandic sandy beach, little god and more.

Among the 14 mammals that first entered the Red Book of the Russian Federation, in addition to the carnivorous killer whale, are the antelope saga, the marmot with black feathers, the spotted squirrel, the arctic fox, the striped fox , several reindeer populations, the Kodar subspecies of bighorn sheep and more.

It should be noted that the saiga antelope is also included in the list of priority objects of the animal world, measures for the conservation of which are implemented by the Ministry of Natural Resources of Russia in the framework of the federal project for the conservation of biodiversity of the national project “Ecology”.

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