Summary: The Caspian is the largest enclosed sea in the world. It is brackish, with salinity up to 13.7 u0089. Significant changes in water levels occur. These, combined with the presence of large shallow areas, constitute a potential threat to biodiversity and especially to the many endemic species. The Caspian is rich in oil and gas. Increasing exploitation of these might pose a serious threat to biodiversity. The biological diversity of the Caspian Sea and its coastal zone makes the region one of the most valuable ecosystems in the world. The rate of biological endemism in the Caspian Sea is extremely high and it has a large number of representatives from almost all major phyla on earth. The Caspian, with its diversified habitats ranging from vast river systems to extensive wetland systems, supports a diverse flora and fauna with high natural productivity. The most important fauna of the Caspian Sea is the sturgeon, which constitute 85 % of the standing stock of the world's sturgeon population. The Caspian Sea lies on the crossing of migration routes of millions of migrating birds and offers refuge for a number of rare and endangered birds of the world ornithofauna. There is an urgent need to undertake an ecological survey of the coastal and marine species and habitats, their uses, values and threats, for each of the five Caspian states, which will result in an inventory of Caspian ecological resources. Strategies for the management of transboundary biodiversity, including threatened or endangered migratory species need to be developed. The major threats to the biodiversity of the Caspian Sea are: Regulation of the Caspian rivers, causing reduction in the area of delta vegetation, loss of reeds, cattail and bushes. Loss of vegetation resulting in loss of aquatic and coastal fauna. Many anadromous and semi-migratory species have been deprived of their natural spawning grounds. Illegal fishing and overfishing, dramatically reducing the sturgeon population. Sea-level changes, causing loss of habitats such as spawning gr
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