Lake Baikal, deepest in the world, in peril, scientists warn; AFP


Russia – Lake Baikal

Holding one-fifth of the world’s unfrozen fresh water, Baikal in Russia’s Siberia is a natural wonder.

MOSCOW: Lake Baikal is undergoing its gravest crisis in recent history, experts say, as the government bans the catching of a signature fish that has lived in the world’s deepest lake for centuries but is now under threat.

Holding one-fifth of the world’s unfrozen fresh water, Baikal in Russia’s Siberia is a natural wonder of “exceptional value to evolutionary science” meriting its listing as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Baikal’s high biodiversity includes over 3,600 plant and animal species, most of which are endemic to the lake.

Over the past several years, however, the lake, a major international tourist attraction, has been crippled by a series of detrimental phenomena, some of which remain a mystery to scientists.

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