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Russian Sturgeon

Critically Endangered



The remaining population count of the Russian Sturgeon is not accurately known, however, it is believed the population has declined by 90% over the past 45 years


Russian Sturgeons can grow up to 2.35 metres long


The weight of the species can be up to 115 kilograms


Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Romania, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Ukraine


The species is native to the Black Sea, the Sea of Azov and the Caspian Sea. The species migrates upstream of rivers that empty into these seas


The Russian Sturgeon has a short and rounded snout with three unfringed pairs of barbels coming from it. The barbels are closer to the tip of the snout than to the mouth. 

The dorsal fin of the Russian Sturgeon has anywhere from 27 to 48 soft rays while the anal fin has anywhere from 16 to 35.

The colouring of the animal is greyish-green colour on the top, pale lateral scales and a white underbelly.

Quick Facts

Find Out More About the Russian Sturgeon

Key behaviour of the Russian Sturgeon includes: 

  • The species is a solitary animal when out at sea
  • The species migrates up rivers to breed
  • The species only begins to breed after reaching 11 years of age
  • Spawning occurs during May and June
  • The species lives for around 45 years

The diet of the Russian Sturgeon is made up of smaller fishes such as gobies, anchovies and sprats, crustaceans and molluscs.

The habitat of the Russian Sturgeon is at the bottom of fairly shallow water which is muddy or sandy bottoms.

The main threats that face the Russian Sturgeon are:

  • Over-fishing for caviar
  • Habitat degradation especially in the Caspian Sea

Conservation Efforts

The species does not have any dedicated conservation efforts at this current time. Efforts are in place for limiting catch and trade of the Beluga Sturgeon which is found in the same area which is aiding the survival of the Russian Sturgeon.

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