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Asia Natural Wonders
Taymyr Peninsula
Northern Steppe
Sea of Okhotsk
Tyulenii Island
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Tyulenii Island, Russia

Earth's Natural Wonders in Asia

Length: .6 miles (1 km)
Width: .3 miles (.5 km)

Tyuleniy Island is an uninhabited island in the Caspian Sea. It is located 47 km eastwards of the western coast of the Caspian Sea, near the entrance to the Kizlyar Gulf. The island has a length of 10 km and a width of 6 km. There is a meteorological station on it. There are many Caspian seals in Tyuleniy, hence its name, which means "seal" in Russian. Since parts of the islands are marshy, there are also many birds.[3]

This island belongs to the Dagestan Republic, a federal subject of the Russian Federation.

Tyulenii is a fabulous place -- a reminder of how prolific nature can be. Sadly it is, too, a reminder of how much Japan has lost. Northern Japan also once had fur seal and sea lion rookeries and haulouts. Today these creatures are long-since lost, like so many seabirds, too, to the ubiquitous, merciless, coastal fishing nets. In early September fur seals overrun the island. Four different types of seals are known to frequent the island, chocolate-brown fur seals, Steller's sea lions, spotted seals and the ringed real.

There is a polite term for the accumulation of sloughed fur, skin and deposited feces that with the passage of time and thousands of bodies becomes polished into the rock surface until it is inseparable from it -- "fur seal marble." It does indeed bear a strange resemblance to a smooth gray marble. On Tyulenii, fur seal marble was everywhere, but particularly on the upper sloping tableland of rock where the majority of fur seals had taken up residence.[1]

Tyulenii Island is a remote and isolated island located on a low slab of rock that rises 26 to 32 feet above sea level. Northern fur seals crowd its beaches who come to breed and give birth in the summer.
Along the northern end and towards the east coast female Stellar's sea lions establish their harems and bully the fur seals as the huge bull sea lions battle over space. The fur seals extend their territory up the eastern slopes onto the flat rock table land of the island; here they share the open space with common murres.
So abundant are the murres that they seem to carpet the island in black and white, and towards the end of the summer thousands of discarded or lost eggs lie in heaps in gullies and crevices. No space is spared, no ledge left unused; even though the roofs of the ranger and researcher's huts are taken over as extensions of the nesting and resting grounds. Auklets nests between the floor and underneath the upturned boats that line the beach. It is hard to imagine a higher density of wildlife than exists on Tyulenii Island. [2]


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References
 
1.The Japan Times Online-retrieved 6/14/2009
2. 1,001 Natural Wonders You Must See Before You Die 2005-p. 627- Michael Bright-retrieved 6/14/2009
3. Wikipedia-Tyuleniy Island--retrieved 7/13/2009
 
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