Ask Baikal

Hi there! My name is Maxim Milyutin. I am based in Irkutsk, Russia's Siberia. Traveller, organiser of local travel talks, and owner of Irkutsk hostel. Travel for me is not necessary movement to some place far away from home, it's a state of soul. That's why I like to travel around my home region and and abroad as well. I'm happy to share my knowledge about Baikal with everybody! Feel free to ask me about Lake Baikal via the contact form Tatiana Baksheeva, our previous blog runner, remains with us as a contributor.

Angara River

Angara river is the only river flowing from Lake Baikal. It is amazing that it never freezes, even during coldest time of winter. It is the only winter-stay for birds in Northern Asia. It happens because of natural reason: water in the lake changes temperature only at its upper part, it stays the same all year round deeper than 300-500 meters (depending on season) and it’s 4 C. At the beginning of the river the water flows from the bottom layer. That’s why it takes at least 2 kilometers to cold it down enough to freeze.

What do we know about the Baikal seal (nerpa)?

Baikal Seal (Nerpa)

The Baikal Seal - Nerpa

The Baikal Seal or nerpa is a unique animal of Lake Baikal. It’s the only mammal that lives in the lake.

A lot of people go to the Baikal to see this charming creature. In summer, the seals like basking in the sunshine and you can see how variously they can behave. Like people, the Baikal Seals have different characters and temperaments.

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Overall, the health of Lake Baikal is probably very good, says Dr Anson W. Mackay

Dr Anson W. Mackay on the hill, overlooking Lake Baikal. Photo courtesy of Ewan Shilland.

Dr Anson W. Mackay on the hill, overlooking Lake Baikal. Photo courtesy of Ewan Shilland.

Hereby, we are really proud to present an exclusive interview done with Dr Anson W. Mackay, a professor at the Environmental Change Research Centre, Department of Geography at University College London, who shares his thoughts about Russia’s Lake Baikal and its environmental state.

In May of 2011, we were really lucky to have him giving us a like on the Ask Lake Baikal facebook page. Actually, we didn’t do anything to attract his attention. Dr. Mackay is a big admirer of Lake Baikal himself. Has been to the area many times and cares much of its ecology. In our turn, we do what we love to do. We share our passion for the world’s largest & deepest lake.

Our interaction with Dr Mackay started from Voice of Russia‘s live radio story dedicated to pollution in Lake Baikal. There was a live talk on air with Nikolai Yasinsky from the Russian Geographical Society and Dr. Anson W. Mackay. You can listen to it online here.

We had our own questions to the UK-based professor, who, thank God, was really kind to give us answers. Proceed to read the interview.

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