The Saimaa seal is one of the rarest species of freshwater seals in the world. It was isolated in Lake Saimaa, now the largest lake in Finland, about 8,000 years ago, when access to the Baltic Sea closed with the end of the ice age. The Saimaa seal is an endemic animal, if it disappears from Lake Saimaa, it will disappear from the face of the whole Earth.
“The goal of the Norppalive service is to inform people about the Saimaa seal and its life, and also to encourage them to protect the Saimaa seals,” concludes Fritz.
The greatest threats to the Saimaa seal are fishing nets and climate change.
“We pay more attention to fisheries because it’s easier to influence than climate change,” said Petteri Tolvanen, director of the WWF program.
Saimaa seal should be protected by all available means. Thanks to decades of stubborn conservation measures, the population of the seals gradually grew from 150 to 360 individuals, but this is still a far from viable population.
The Saimaa seal continues to be seriously threatened, ”Tolvanen warns. “The official intermediate goal is to reach the number of 400 Saimaa seals by 2025. In this case, there will be no immediate threat of extinction. "