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Watch: Ringed seal pup relaxes in sun

The annual count of endangered Saimaa ringed seal nests is underway.

Video: Kuutti pötköttää jäällä
Video: Ismo Marttinen / WWF

WWF regional director Ismo Marttinen caught rare footage of a young Saimaa ringed seal pup in Taipalsaari in the southern part of Lake Saimaa last weekend.

Environmental organisation WWF said cubs born this spring may face more danger than those born previous years, as no fishing limits are currently in force in the Saimaa region. Restrictions valid during the past five years recently expired, meaning there are no rules currently limiting the use of nets in lake Saimaa in eastern Finland.

The annual count of endangered Saimaa ringed seal nests is underway. The count aims to provide an estimate of how many ringed seal pups were born over the winter.

There are thought to be around 420 Saimaa ringed seals in total living in lake Saimaa. The endangered species relies on thick snow cover to build nests to protect its pups, which tend to be born in February.

Experts at national forestry and wildlife agency Metsähallitus have estimated that snowy conditions this past winter mean that the seal population could grow by up to 20 individuals.

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