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Save sea otters on the Kuril Islands: WWF-Russia and Kinder join forces again

18 may 2020
Kinder® continues its collaboration with WWF-Russia as part of the "Natoons – Play and learn!" campaign, which starts in May 2020.

A new project of WWF-Russia, which is implemented with the financial support of the Kinder® brand, is aimed at preserving rare marine mammals of the Pacific Ocean: sea otters and Steller sea lions. The goal is to identify the reasons for the decline in the number of marine mammals off the South-Eastern coast of Kamchatka and on the Northern Islands of the Kuril range. Several expeditions will take place during the project in 2020. Their results will help scientists develop measures for

  • stabilization of the population status of sea otters;
  • prevent further degradation of marine ecosystems in the region.
"Since 2004, there has been a steady decline in the number of sea otter species from 15,000 in 2003 to 5,000 in 2008 in the focus area. A 2017 study initiated by WWF-Russia found that the population has dropped by more than 70% compared to 2008. This disastrous situation is most likely the result of several negative factors. The exact reasons for the decline are just to be found out during scientific expeditions," said Sergey Korostelev, coordinator of WWF-Russia’s Sustainable Marine Fisheries Program.

The project also aims to reduce the disturbance factor on the Steller sea lion rookery in Mokhovaya Bay (Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky) and introduce measures to regulate rookery visits, which will help to stabilize the number of animals there.

"The rookery of Steller sea lions on Mokhovaya is one of three haul-outs of these animals in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and the only publicly accessible one. It should be noted that only a few cities in the world can boast such close proximity to sea lions. Free access to the rookery of visitors in Petropavlovsk does not benefit wild animals: in the best case, visitors, without realizing the consequences, feed animals with fish. For sea lions, this is, of course, a disservice: the animals get used to receiving food from humans and become dependent, losing the skills and incentive to hunt naturally. There are also cases when rookery visitors set dogs on sea lions, even shot at them," said Sergey Rafanov, Director of the Kamchatka Ecoregional Department, acting Director of the Sustainable Marine Fisheries Program of WWF-Russia.
Every year, more and more species of wild animals are threatened with extinction due to human activity. That is why Kinder Surprise and Kinder® Chocolate unite the efforts to tell children about rare representatives of the animal world. Kinder Surprise launches a new collection of Natoons-16 toys representing Latin American animals that need special human attention.
WWF-Russia and Kinder® have already successfully implemented a joint project to build an eco-trail in the national Park "Alania".
photo in the head - ©Taylor Rees
For additional information please contact
Head of WWF Kamchatka/Bering Sea Ecoregional Office