There are over 2600 species and subspecies of animals and over 1000 species of plants. Sometimes scientists discover new species. There are reasons to suppose that only 70-80% of Baikal flora and fauna is known to the scientists. In the past, when the science was not in coma condition, the scientists could have discovered 10 new species each year on average.

About 40% of plant and 85% of animal species that live in open Baikal are endemic that means they live nowhere else but Baikal. Living species live everywhere in Baikal from the surface to the maximum depths. There are 58 fish species. The most well-known are omul, grayling, whtefish, taimen, sturgeon, golomyanka (oil fish), lenok. Nearly 2000 plant species grow on the shore of Baikal. 200 bird species build their nests on the shores.

A unique, typically marine mammal inhabits Baikal – Baikal seal. It is supposed that the seals came to Baikal at the period of Ice age from the Arctic Ocean by Yenisei and Angara rivers. Today their population in the lake is estimated at several thousand seals. You can often see them in the central part of the lake in the summer and in the northern part of the lake in the winter.