Contents. [130] In response to recovery efforts, the population climbed steadily from the mid-20th century through the early 2000s, then remained relatively flat from 2005 to 2014 at just under 3,000. This population increased to over 5,600 in 2013 with an estimated annual growth rate of 7.2%, and their range on the island's west coast extended north to Cape Scott and across the Queen Charlotte Strait to the Broughton Archipelago and south to Clayoquot Sound and Tofino. Reintroduced populations in British Columbia and Washington state. [125] If populations continued to grow and ESA delisting occurred, southern sea otters would still be fully protected by state regulations and the Marine Mammal Protection Act, which set higher thresholds for protection, at approximately 8,400 individuals. Considered "cute" by many, sea otters are actually feisty by nature. We use cookies to facilitate a user-friendly experience and track site usage. [71] In the wild, sea otters live to a maximum age of 23 years,[24] with lifespans ranging from 10 to 15 years for males and 15–20 years for females. [157] They returned to Siberia, having killed nearly 1,000 sea otters, and were able to command high prices for the pelts. In 1970 and 1971, a total of 95 sea otters were transplanted from Amchitka Island, Alaska to the Southern Oregon coast. [98] By 2004, sea otters had repopulated all of their former habitat in these areas, with an estimated total population of about 27,000. [112][113][114] Their principal range has gradually expanded and extends from Pigeon Point in San Mateo County to Santa Barbara County. [162], Other nations joined in the hunt in the south. Southern Sea Otter Festival Pavilion KF3 Nexon Game: For voice lines, see Southern Sea Otter/KF3/Voice. [citation needed], The historic population of California sea otters was estimated at 16,000 before the fur trade decimated the population, leading to their assumed extinction. The fur trade that began in the 1740s reduced the sea otter's numbers to an estimated 1,000 to 2,000 members in 13 colonies. [24] It is the only marine animal capable of lifting and turning over rocks, which it often does with its front paws when searching for prey. Its relatively large kidneys enable it to derive fresh water from sea water and excrete concentrated urine. [182] Although many factors affect shellfish stocks, sea otter predation can deplete a fishery to the point where it is no longer commercially viable. Known for their agility and playful social behavior, our dolphins are a must-see at Georgia Aquarium! Although it can walk on land, the sea otter is capable of living exclusively in the ocean. In this zone, only San Nicolas Island was designated as sea otter habitat, and sea otters found elsewhere in the area were supposed to be captured and relocated. Adult males are highly territorial during breeding season and will not permit other males to enter their territory. [121] The plan that authorized the translocation program had predicted the carrying capacity would be reached within five to 10 years. southern sea otters and northern sea otters when status with respect to carrying capacity is accounted for (Monson et al. [98], Alaska is the heartland of the sea otter's range. Sea otters, whose numbers were once estimated at 150,000–300,000, were hunted extensively for their fur between 1741 and 1911, and the world population fell to 1,000–2,000 individuals living in a fraction of their historic range. The otter has a set of canine teeth as well. She has since been redesigned and has appeared in the mobile games Kemono Friends Festival, Kemono Friends 3, and Kemono Friends Pavilion. This species, considered a keystone species, helps maintain the health of kelp forests by preying on sea urchins, which, if allowed to proliferate, can destroy a kelp forest. [138] However, ESA delisting seems unlikely due to a precipitous population decline recorded in the spring 2017 USGS sea otter survey count, from the 2016 high of 3,615 individuals to 2,688, a loss of 25% of the California sea otter population. The digits on its front paws are separated and covered, similar to mittens. [142] In California, they have been noted to ignore Pismo clams smaller than 3 inches (7 cm) across. The tail is short in comparison to those of other otters. Southern Sea Otters once filled the waters off the Oregon coast, but due to the popularity of their fur for human clothing, they were hunted to extinction in the state by the early twentieth century. [172], In the Aleutian Islands, a massive and unexpected disappearance of sea otters has occurred in recent decades. [63] During this time, males patrol the boundaries of their territories to exclude other males,[63] although actual fighting is rare. [65] Females coo when they are apparently content; males may grunt instead. [57], The sea otter's use of rocks when hunting and feeding makes it one of the few mammal species to use tools. These are the first documented sightings of otters this far south in 30 years. [192], Sea otters can do well in captivity, and are featured in over 40 public aquariums and zoos. [174] The round, expressive face and soft, furry body of the sea otter are depicted in a wide variety of souvenirs, postcards, clothing, and stuffed toys. Once common along most of the coastal North Pacific Ocean from Japan to California, in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, it was hunted to the verge of extinction for its prized pelt. [161] By the 1760s, the Russians had reached Alaska. The Nuu-chah-nulth, Haida, and other First Nations of coastal British Columbia used the warm and luxurious pelts as chiefs' regalia. [69] In California, sea otters usually breed every year, about twice as often as those in Alaska. [26] Most of its need for water is met through food, although, in contrast to most other marine mammals, it also drinks seawater. [33] The tail is fairly short, thick, slightly flattened, and muscular. Surprisingly, though, the diets of individuals were more specialized in these areas than in areas where food was plentiful. However, biologists have confirmed isolated sightings of sea otters in these areas since the mid-1990s. They swim belly-up, moving through the water at 3-5 miles an hour with their webbed hind feet. [196] Nyac died in September 2008, at the age of 20. After the years of the Great Hunt, the population in these areas, currently part of Russia, was only 750. Enjoy new thrills, adventures and fish-filled fun each time you visit, Support our work towards research and conservation, Special Events – Covid-19 Safety Measures, Sea urchins, snails, clams, abalone, mussels, crabs, scallops, fish, barnacles, octopus, worms and squid, Northern Pacific Ocean and southern Bering Sea, Marine habitat with rocky or muddy sea bottoms and kelp forests. In addition, white abalone (Haliotis sorenseni), a species never overlapping with sea otter, had declined in numbers 99% by 1996, and became the first marine invertebrate to be federally listed as endangered. In studies performed at Amchitka Island in the 1960s, where the sea otter population was at carrying capacity, 50% of food found in sea otter stomachs was fish. [175] Necropsies of dead sea otters indicate diseases, particularly Toxoplasma gondii and acanthocephalan parasite infections, are major causes of sea otter mortality in California. [52] Foraging resumes for a few hours in the afternoon and subsides before sunset, and a third foraging period may occur around midnight. [16], The last native sea otter in Oregon was probably shot and killed in 1906. [116][117] Historical records revealed the Russian-American Company sneaked Aleuts into San Francisco Bay multiple times, despite the Spanish capturing or shooting them while hunting sea otters in the estuaries of San Jose, San Mateo, San Bruno and around Angel Island. IUCN Red List: Endangered. [81] When foraging, she leaves her pup floating on the water, sometimes wrapped in kelp to keep it from floating away;[82] if the pup is not sleeping, it cries loudly until she returns. 2000, Tinker et al. [55], Along the North American coast south of Alaska, the sea otter's range is discontinuous. Predator: Great White Shark. In the eastern Pacific Ocean, E. l. kenyoni, the northern sea otter, is found from Alaska's Aleutian Islands to Oregon and E. l. nereis, the southern sea otter, is native to central and southern California. It is unique among the mustelids in not making dens or burrows, in having no functional anal scent glands, and in being able to live its entire life without leaving the water. [139], Historian Adele Ogden described sea otters are particularly abundant in "Lower California", now the Baja California Peninsula, where "seven bays...were main centers". This results in a higher female to male ratio in adults. Today, southern sea otters live along the central coast of California; northern sea otters live along the coasts of Washington, Canada, and Alaska. Listed as “threatened” under the U.S. Touch Pool 1; Crawl Tunnel Viewing Windows 3; Kelp Forest 1; Cold ocean waters teem with fish and marine mammals, just as they do in Cold Water Quest. As of 2017, the population was estimated at over 2,000 individuals, and their range extends from Point Grenville in the south to Cape Flattery in the north and east to Pillar Point along the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Weight(M):22-45kg (F): 14-35kg (New Born): 1.4-2.3kg. The Southern Sea Otter is a type of mammal Friend that debuted in the original Kemono Friends mobile game. When their fur is soaked with oil, it loses its ability to retain air, and the animals can quickly die from hypothermia. [16], The small geographic ranges of the sea otter populations in California, Washington, and British Columbia mean a single major spill could be catastrophic for that state or province. Rodents (of which the beaver is one) are not closely related to otters, which are carnivorans. 1.1 Kemono Friends 3; … He brings more than 30 years of professional marine mammal management, husbandry, rehabilitation, and training experience to the Aquarium. [176], Sea otter habitat is preserved through several protected areas in the United States, Russia and Canada. Sea otters have the thickest fur of any mammal, with approximately one million hairs per square inch. Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes that Southern Sea Otter Translocation Program be Terminated", "Service Proposes to End Southern Sea Otter Translocation Program", "Rare sighting of sea otter off Laguna Beach", "U.S. will let otters roam along Southern California coastline", "California's Sea Otter Numbers Continue Slow Climb", "California Sea Otter Numbers Drop Again", "Spring 2010 Mainland California Sea Otter Survey Results", "Another deadly challenge for the sea otter", "Evidence for a Novel Marine Harmful Algal Bloom: Cyanotoxin (Microcystin) Transfer from Land to Sea Otters", Spring 2014 California Sea Otter Census Results, "Otters vs. [173], Many facets of the interaction between sea otters and the human economy are not as immediately felt. [3] Kelp forests are extremely productive ecosystems. Females give live birth to, normally, one pup at a time. The sea otter’s fur also is designed to trap air to further insulate it from the cold water and to provide additional buoyancy. Otter were also taken from San Benito Island, Cedros Island, and Isla Natividad in the Bay. In 1973, the population in Alaska was estimated at between 100,000 and 125,000 animals. The fur of the sea otter is the densest of all mammals at about 350,000 to 1,000,000 hairs per square inch, compared to dogs that only have 1,000 to 60,000 hairs per square inch. [193] The Seattle Aquarium became the first institution to raise sea otters from conception to adulthood with the birth of Tichuk in 1979, followed by three more pups in the early 1980s. If you continue to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies. Under Aleksandr I, the administration of the merchant-controlled company was transferred to the Imperial Navy, largely due to the alarming reports by naval officers of native abuse; in 1818, the indigenous peoples of Alaska were granted civil rights equivalent to a townsman status in the Russian Empire. Rarely ventures onto land. It has a long, stout body with a short broad head and snout with thick whiskers on the cheeks. Sea otter’s body is covered in a dense fur that constantly must be groomed to maintain its insulating properties and cleanliness; therefore, a sea otter will spend up to 10% of its time grooming. Southern sea otter has a high metabolic rate that is about 2.5 times greater than that of terrestrial animals. Unlike most marine mammals, the sea otter's primary form of insulation is an exceptionally thick coat of fur, the densest in the animal kingdom. Enhydra lutris lutris (nominate), the Asian sea otter, ranges from the Kuril Islands north of Japan to Russia's Commander Islands in the western Pacific Ocean. Although it can hold its breath for up to five minutes,[31] its dives typically last about one minute and not more than four. Southern Sea Otter Webcam; Ocean Voyager Webcam; Underwater Puffin Webcam; Piranha Webcam; African Penguin Webcam; About Cold Water Quest. In California, great white sharks are their primary predator[154] but there is no evidence that the sharks eat them. The sea otter walks with a clumsy, rolling gait on land, and can run in a bounding motion. The tail is short in comparison to those of other otters. These plans were abandoned after many translocated otters died and also as it proved impractical to capture the hundreds of otters which ignored regulations and swam into the zone. During the nineteenth century, the southern sea otter was known along the entire Pacific coast of North America, from Alaska to central Baja California. Predators of sea otters include sharks and killer whales. In some areas, massive declines in shellfish harvests have been blamed on the sea otter, and intense public debate has taken place over how to manage the competition between sea otters and humans for seafood. It uses rocks, shells and other hard materials from the ocean floor as shell-crushing tools, while balancing its prey on its chest and stomach. In the early 18th century, Russians began to hunt sea otters in the Kuril Islands[19] and sold them to the Chinese at Kyakhta. [96], In about two-thirds of its former range, the species is at varying levels of recovery, with high population densities in some areas and threatened populations in others. [169] However, the IUCN still lists the sea otter as an endangered species, and describes the significant threats to sea otters as oil pollution, predation by orcas, poaching, and conflicts with fisheries – sea otters can drown if entangled in fishing gear. The sea otter has a metabolic rate two or three times that of comparatively sized terrestrial mammals. Cyanobacteria are found in stagnant freshwater enriched with nitrogen and phosphorus from septic tank and agricultural fertilizer runoff, and may be flushed into the ocean when streamflows are high in the rainy season. Adult southern sea otters are approximately 4 feet (1.2 m) in length. [93] Their northern range is limited by ice, as sea otters can survive amidst drift ice but not land-fast ice. [163] When Cook's ship later stopped at a Chinese port, the pelts rapidly sold at high prices, and were soon known as "soft gold". Its range extended across the Aleutians to the Siberian … [104], Another area of concern is California, where recovery began to fluctuate or decline in the late 1990s. The sea otter is the heaviest (the giant otter is longer, but significantly slimmer) member of the family Mustelidae,[3] a diverse group that includes the 13 otter species and terrestrial animals such as weasels, badgers, and minks. [157] The surviving crew members, which included naturalist Georg Steller, discovered sea otters on the beaches of the island and spent the winter hunting sea otters and gambling with otter pelts. [44] Seals and sea otters are the only carnivores with two pairs of lower incisor teeth rather than three;[45] the adult dental formula is The southern sea otter is dark to reddish brown in color with a lighter colored head, throat, and chest. Behind its cute face and fluffy fur, the sea otter is an aquatic environmentalist. [95], The sea otter population is thought to have once been 150,000 to 300,000,[19] stretching in an arc across the North Pacific from northern Japan to the central Baja California Peninsula in Mexico. [61] Adult females move freely between male territories, where they outnumber adult males by an average of five to one. Sea otters play a vital role in the health and stability of the nearshore marine ecosystem as a keystone species; Sea otter fur is the densest of any mammal at about 1 million hairs per square inch (We have 100,000 hairs on our entire head). [16][49][55] Prevention of oil spills and preparation to rescue otters if one happens is a major focus for conservation efforts. [25], Unlike most other marine mammals, the sea otter has no blubber and relies on its exceptionally thick fur to keep warm. [163], Russian hunting expanded to the south, initiated by American ship captains, who subcontracted Russian supervisors and Aleut hunters[164] in what are now Washington, Oregon, and California. An adult male sea otter may eat as many as 50 urchins each day. [58] [109] In 2004, a male sea otter took up residence at Simpson Reef off of Cape Arago for six months. [170] Poaching was a serious concern in the Russian Far East immediately after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991; however, it has declined significantly with stricter law enforcement and better economic conditions.[102]. [107][108], In 1969 and 1970, 59 sea otters were translocated from Amchitka Island to Washington, and released near La Push and Point Grenville. Cold water is kept completely away from the skin and heat loss is limited. In fact, at 850,000 to 1 million hairs per square inch, sea otters have the thickest fur of any mammal. [55] It is the only marine mammal that catches fish with its forepaws rather than with its teeth. Three subspecies of the sea otter are recognized with distinct geographical distributions. [40] Researchers have noted when they approach in plain view, sea otters react more rapidly when the wind is blowing towards the animals, indicating the sense of smell is more important than sight as a warning sense. [129], Although the southern sea otter's range has continuously expanded from the remnant population of about 50 individuals in Big Sur since protection in 1911, from 2007 to 2010, the otter population and its range contracted and since 2010 has made little progress. Trophic Level:Omnivore. On the hind paws, the pads are reduced and may be absent, except on the toes. Southern sea otters have been killed illegally because of the belief that they compete with commercial fishers and divers collecting sea urchins commercially. Studies on southern sea otters in California have shown that diet can be a highly individual thing, in which an otter will specialize in one to three types of prey that is not influenced directly by prey availability. [101] In 2017 the US Geological Survey found a 3% drop in the sea otter population of the California coast. [41] Other observations indicate the sea otter's sense of sight is useful above and below the water, although not as good as that of seals. [137] However, the population increased markedly from 2015 to 2016, with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) California sea otter survey 3-year average reaching 3,272 in 2016, the first time it exceeded the threshold for delisting from the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Their fur have declined to between 10 and 43 individuals before increasing, reaching 208 individuals in 1989 a... ] Further restrictions were ordered by the early 1900s, Baja 's sea otters their! 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