The ringed seal is probably the smallest seal in the world. The rule in the sea is that you have to be fat to succeed. So the ringed seal, who is the size of a cat when born and only weighs about a hundred kilos as an adult, really is a small player on the scale of seals. They have to make up for the missing kilos with speed and brains. All the time.
The ringed seal is an adventurer among seals and their discovery trips often take them to isthmuses, fjords and even deep inland along rivers. This way of life has also brought them from the Arctic Ocean to the Baltic Sea. As soon as the Ice Age glacier melted in our region 10,000 years ago, the ringed seal became one of the first permanent inhabitants of this region. Long before people were brave enough to settle so far up North.
The past millennia have been a massive challenge for the ringed seals of the Baltic Sea, as the landscapes have changed and the former ocean bay turned into a completely new freshwater sea. Karelia, which had risen from the sea, cut off their way back to the Arctic Ocean. About a hundred years ago, human activity in the Baltic Sea region exceeded the tolerance level of marine habitats and the biota started to vanish fast – the ringed seal, whose numbers once reached a quarter of a million, quickly found themselves on the verge of extinction. The mild winters we’re having these days are reducing the recovery options of these originally Arctic animals. What can we do to ensure that the ringed seal would still be swimming on our waters in the coming centuries?
Although we’ve been living next to each other for thousands of years, we still don’t know the key to the success of these animals. Technological development, which has taken away some of nature’s power, also makes it possible to use top technology to solve these mysteries. Leaping Seal (Viigrihüpe), the initiative of Alexela Group and our friends, supports the implementation of the most modern methods. We provide the tools for finding the best possible knowledge from the Baltic Sea.
Estonian seal researchers have been trying to solve the secrets of the ringed seal already for 25 years. Together we will give them a ‘gift’ – modern monitoring equipment, which calls home and fills in the gaps in our knowledge. Keep an eye on our website, as we’ll be sharing our discoveries with you.