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Wild Life of Lake Baikal - animal spread


On the boundary of the two elements - land and water, on the narrow Baikal shore, fascinating and peculiar life forms are found. The Baikal shore is a unique ecological niche the inhabitants of which are connected with both dryland and water. Some of them live on land but feed in water, others spend the greater part of the time in water but breed and end their lifetime ashore. Due to its unique location, the land animals of the Baikal region contain specimens of the fauna found in Central Asia, Europe - Siberia and East Asia. Furthermore, the taiga near-lake backwoods are inhabited by rare animals which have become extinct in other places.

Among the upland high ridges, the mammals most widespread are mountain goat, snow sheep, Alpine field-vole, marmots, and in some places - lemmings. In summer on the slope and valley zones one can come across big ungulate animals and their predators, brown bear in particular.

wild life of Baikal lake
Brown bear
Bears generally weight 200-300 kilos. A bear entering hibernation weights 60% more than it did a few months earlier. In late autumn they retire to their winter den. Itís often just a space under or over a hanging rock, or a fallen tree. Bears are not true hibernators and may be aroused easily without too much difficulty. However, their heart beat, breathing rate, and temperature are depressed. This slowdown of body functions will help to conserve the stores of fat. Local bears leave their den by mid April or early May. A female bear may give birth to cubs in late January. The cubs are tiny - about the size of chipmunks.
The cubs stay with their mother through the summer and then share the den in the following winter. Mother and father have full charge of the young. The bear is territorial by nature and each bear has its own area that it uses and protects. In the water, it is a strong swimmer.

Baikal wildlife
Baikal deer
Rein deer, white tailed deer, elk, moose, musk deer, Siberian roe, wild boar, are typical fauna between the Alpine belt and the sparse growth of trees and the coniferous taiga zone. The moose is about 800-900 pounds. Females are someone smaller. One or 3 calves are born after mating season.

Baikal wildlife
Baikal deer
Baikal animals
Baikal wolverine
Water rats and musk rats are characteristic of the river banks. Among predators besides bear there are lynx and wolverine. The Lynx is relatively lightweight. Each lynx has a large home range. Furs are highly valued at international auctions. The taiga also shelters and feeds a great number of little mouse - like rodents and insectivorous animals. Baikal wildlife
Baikal lynx
Baikal animals
Baikal wolf

Roe deer, polecats, ground squirrels, field-voles, insectivorous animals and wolves mainly inhabit the partially - wooded steppes.

The Wolf is a member of the dog family. These animals are divided into packs which are believed to be a family group. Each mated pair produces a litter of about 5-6 pups in May. Wolves are highly social by nature. Each pack is well-organized and has its most dominant and submissive family member. Research has shown that a wolf is not a
reckless killer of wild life and therefore itís prey is mostly old and sick animals. Wolves are stimulated to chase any animals that will run from them.


Siberian forests are famous for 69 species of fur bearing animals.
29 of them are found in Baikal region.


lake Baikal wildlife
Baikal squirrel

Baikal fox

Baikal fox

Baikal chipmunk

Baikal sable
Squirrel is one of the most common members of our forest land. It prefers forest with a lot of conifers trees. The primary food is the seed of conifers. In Autumn, squirrels store cones around the base of a tree. They eat natural fruit, berries, and mushrooms. When food is abundant birth and survival are high.


American Mink was imported here from Canada. Most of its life is spent close to the water. Itís short and durable fur has always been a favorite of fashion designers. Most of the demand for fur is mink and it raised at mink-farms.

Red fox is a member of a dog family. During the day it remains hidden. The number of pups in a litter is from 2 to 10.

Ermine. In winter they are white except for a black tip on the tail. They are capable of killing nestling birds, chipmunks and mice.

Muskrat is one of the most numerous fur-bearing animals in Siberia. The fur is thick and smooth used in making coats and hats. They live mostly on plants of various kinds.

Kolinsky, Alpine hare, chipmunk are also among the Baikal fur-bearers.


At the most inspired hour, Nature presented the world with sable - the most typical and valuable inhabitant of the south Siberian mountain taiga.

What does this little animal mean to Russia? Russians followed the sable trail throughout Asia to the Pacific Ocean. In the XVII th century fur-trade made up half of the national income of Russia. Salaries were paid in sable skins, debts were also repaid in sable; Russian tsars presented the nobility of Europe and East with sable.

Sable fur is valued not only for its beauty, but because it is rather practical and durable. Nowadays, there is a great demand for sable at international fur auctions. Sable, or the "fur-king" as it is sometimes called, was awarded several gold medals.

It is not very easy to see a sable in the taiga. The sable is a very careful and extremely secretive predator. Sable hunting requires special hunting skills, endurance and also good knowledge of the animal's habits and habitat.


BIRDS

Baikal owl
owl
Baikal duck
duck
Baikal seagulls
seagulls
Baikal eagle
bald eagle
Baikal hawk
hawk
Baikal partridge
partridge

Also: Snipes, Wild-tailed Eagle, Bronze Eagle, Bullfinch, Woodpecker, Cuckoo, Sparrow, Pigeon (dove), Nutcracker, Blue Tit

Total amount of live organisms inhabiting Lake Baikal:
Species and subspecies = 2635
Number of endemic hydrobionts = 1800

POPULATION DYNAMICS of the most important commercially species of animals:

  Species
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
  Elk
6400
6530
6780
5000
6200
4200
  Siberian red deer
15300
17111
15840
12608
12000
11800
  Roe deer
19000
25053
23100
21538
24000
23200
  Wild pig
6039
3635
5360
2960
2000
2300
  Musk deer
14520
15900
24900
16000
14000
12000
  Reindeer
1847
1670
1320
1400
1500
1550
  Wolf
1500
1600
900
1200
2000
1600
  Brown Bear
3600
4000
4000
3200
2000
2000
  Sable
13921
14926
19340
14500
11500
11000
  Squirrel
120151
95000
120000
115920
143345
332800
  Red Fox
2000
2100
1400
1200
1500
1600
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Baikal Wildlife & Animals of Lake Baikal
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