Sea Otter’s tails are smaller than other otters to reduce surface area. Sea otter counts are conducted annually by the U.S. Geological Survey. When the water temperatures are too cold sea otters reduce heat loss by floating … Southern sea otter range expansion and habitat use in the Santa Barbara Channel, California Open-File Report 2017-1001 Prepared in cooperation with Bureau of … They have long whiskers and sensitive forepaws, with retractable claws, which help them to detect and capture prey underwater. This program also only exists for southern sea otters (Joey is a northern one). The listing of Southern sea otters is primarily due to habitat degradation, such as oil spills, and human activities, like entanglement in fishing nets, which impact the otters. Habitat: The Southern Sea Otter can be found in Russia, Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, California, and Oregan. Occasionally, sea otters are seen further offshore in water depths of between 40 and 60 meters and on rare occasions in deeper offshore areas where there is an abundance of food. That is … (1.12m) for females. Sea otters use rocks, other shellfish, or man-made objects to pry prey from rocks and use them as a hammer or anvil to break open the hard outer shell of some prey species. Sea otters are not just cute animals swimming and splashing carefree offshore. Sea otters eat between 20-35% of their own body weight daily. Such as, when a human wants to build a house near the coast because he or she is a fisherman. The current range extends along the California coast from Half Moon Bay in the north to Santa Barbara in the south, though individuals are occasionally seen outside these limits. Now, the only indigenous population of Southern Sea Otters resides along the coast of central California. The southern sea otter also spends a lot of their time in estuaries. (Merriam, 1904) Southern sea otters live along a stretch of less than 400 kilometers (250 miles) of the California coast around Monterey Bay. Research has shown that up to 60 percent of southern sea otter mortality is due to infectious diseases which are attributed to known land-sea linkages. Habitat destruction may takes many form. The sea otter is one of the few animals to use tools. An estuary is the mouth of the river and where the tide meets the stream. Three separate sub species live along the coasts of Russia, Alaska, and California. A re-evaluation of the role of killer whales Orcinus orca in a population decline of sea otters Enhydra lutris in the Aleutian Islands and a review of alternative hypotheses. They prefer the shoreline to the deeper waters. They choose areas that have rocky substrates. 2. Southern Sea Otter Range Expansion and Habitat Use in the Santa Barbara Channel, California By M. Tim Tinker, Joseph Tomoleoni, Nicole LaRoche, Lizabeth Bowen, A. Keith Miles, Mike Murray, Michelle Staedler, and Zach Randell . Scientific Name Enhydra lutris. Sea otters increase biodiversity and primary productivity of the nearshore environment by controlling populations of grazers, sea urchins in particular, which feed on kelp. Today, southern sea otters live along the central coast of California; northern sea otters live along the coasts of Washington, Canada, and Alaska. The southern sea otter also spends a lot of their time in estuaries. Southern sea otters can live to approximately 15 years for males and 16 years for females. Sea Otter Natural History. Male sea otters have multiple female partners and are territorial during the breeding season from September to November. Most species are entirely dependent on aquatic habitats for food. California’s southern sea otter has been listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act since 1977. Pups are constantly groomed while resting upon their mother’s chest for the first 2 months. Now, the only indigenous population of Southern Sea Otters resides along the coast of central California. Southern sea otters have been actively managed for their conservation and recovery since listing on the federal Endangered Species Act in 1977. However, abalones are restricted to deep crevices, out of reach of otter and human harvesters. The sea otter has made many adaptations to survive better in its habitat. Information and Media Sources: They are frequently found in protected harbors, barrier reefs, and kelp forests that offer shelter from wind and waves. Currently, the California population numbers around 3,300 and is found from Half Moon Bay to Point Conception. (19.8 kg). Adult males weigh on average 64 lbs. The sea otters usually live near the shore waters of the North Pacific, from Japan, north to the coast of the Kamchatka Peninsula, then from Alaska down along the Pacific coast of North America to Baja, California. Genus: Enhydra Sea otter fur color varies in shades of brown turning silver-gray to white with age in males. Female otters give birth to a single pup nearly every year with peak pupping season from January through March. Historical Home Range – California to Baja, CA, Dedicated to Protecting the California Sea Otter, sea otters may be responsible for the relatively large size of abalones. California kelp forests have some of the highest primary productivity rates (conversion of sunlight to living material) of any naturally occurring ecosystem on earth and are the most diverse ecosystem of the temperate latitudes on earth. Females otters nature at 3 years of age and males at age 5. First, the sea otter uses their feet to reduce or maximize heat loss when water temperatures are too hot or too cold. Fun Facts for Kids. Southern sea otters inhabit shallow nearshore coastal ecosystems within 1-2 km from shore. CARMEL, Calif. (Sept. 29, 2017) – The southern sea otter population dropped in the last year, ... is the removal of the 20+ year No Otter Zone that prohibited the free movement of sea otters throughout their natural habitat in Southern … The coast of the Pacific, especially to the east and north, is home to the magnificent sea otter. From evidence found in the fossil record, sea otters and their ancestors have been a component of California’s coastal marine environment for the past five million years. EcoHealth, 1(3): 239-245. Southern sea otters inhabit shallow nearshore coastal ecosystems within 1-2 km from shore. California’s southern sea otter has been listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act since 1977. Southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis), also known as California sea otters, have been listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act since 1977. Adult sea otters standard length is on average 4 ft. 3 in. They typically use … Today, southern sea otters live along the central coast of California; northern sea otters live along the coasts of Washington, Canada, and Alaska. Southern Sea Otter. Our responsibility is management of these important natural resources in Ventura, Los Angeles, San Luis Obispo, Monterey, San Benito, Santa Cruz, and Santa Barbara Counties. Northern sea otters are slightly larger than Californian otters. The kelp acts as an anchor that the sea otters use to wrap themselves in when they are resting. Enhydra lutris nereis An estuary is the mouth of the river and where the tide meets the stream. Southern sea otters inhabit shallow nearshore coastal ecosystems within 1-2 km from shore. Because of the activity in the sea will never ends because many people rely their life on it … We only ever rescue one sea otter pup every couple of years, and we do not have non-releasable adult sea otters that would have survival skills to pass on. The Ventura FWO website is a portal that provides information and guidance for the conservation, protection, and enhancement of fish, wildlife and plants, and their habitats. Females are slightly smaller, weighing 14-33 kg and measuring 1-1.4m in length. This marine mammal can live on land with the same ease as it can live in the water without surfacing for days. Sea otters naturally thrive in nearshore habitats. Today southern sea otters have reclaimed about 13 percent of their historic range: the mainland coastline from San Mateo County to Santa Barbara County, California, and San Nicolas Island, Ventura County (as a result of translocation efforts initiated in 1987). Habitat If you look along California’s coast, starting from Half Moon Bay to Coal Oil Point by Santa Barbra, you can find these magnificent creatures. Identify important sea otter resting and foraging areas adjacent to manmade structures 3. Habitat: The Southern Sea Otter can be found in Russia, Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, California, and Oregan. (1.29m) for males and 3 ft. 8 in. SURVEY REVEALS SOUTHERN SEA OTTER POPULATION DECLINE. They are usually seen in rocky marine habitats where there is a high abundance of kelp canopy and typically in water depths about 20 m. Kelp canopy is an important habitat component used for resting and foraging. The sea otter’s feet are webbed which are good for picking up speed in the water. Sea otter is found along coastal areas of the northern Pacific Ocean and the southern Bering Sea. They do most of their foraging within about half a mile of shore. Sea Otters have "pockets" in their skin and fur so they can tuck away a food item until returning to the surface to eat. Subspecies: nereis A southern sea otter in it's habitat with one of the many other organisms living near it. This population, of roughly 2,400 individuals, is believed to be increasing at approximately 5 to 7 percent per year (U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1996). Males otters are often seen hundreds of miles north and south of the current home range, recently near San Diego, in search of new territory. Kuker, K., L. Barrett-Lennard. Additionally, issues of habitat protection have been especially troublesome in the ESA debate, and our knowledge of southern sea otters provides valuable insights into protecting marine habitats. In southern Chile the marine otter is found almost exclusively along exposed rocky seashores; farther north it may inhabit estuaries and fresh water. First, the sea otter uses their feet to reduce or maximize heat loss when water temperatures are too hot or too cold. Sea otters have been found to play a pivotal role in the habitat and marine life that inhabit a kelp forest. Sea otters play a vital role in the health and stability of the nearshore marine ecosystem as a keystone species They live on a wet coast or in the ocean where they find their prey. These critters live in kelp forests with water in the temperatures of 35 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Most of the otters that are still alive, have to make sure their habitat will be secure enough for their babies. Sea otters use rocks to remove prey from their shells. Still, they remain constrained to a geographically small area on the central coast of California relative to their former coast-wide range, with population numbers far below those of the estimated optimal sustainable population size. 5. The sea otter spends most of its time in the water but, in some locations, comes ashore to sleep or rest. Without sea otters, sea urchins can overpopulate the sea floor and devour the kelp forests that provide cover and food for many other marine animals. The life of a southern sea otter Sea otters spend most of their time near the shore. Sea otters float on their back and break open their prey by pounding it on the rock or other tool on their chest. The otter's habitat is in danger, though. Therefore, sea otters are crucial to maintaining kelp forest levels, which provide cover and food for many marine animals. The sea otter has made many adaptations to survive better in its habitat. Adult males weight between 22 and 45 kilograms and measure from 1.2 to 1.5 meters.On the other hand the adult females usually weigh between 14 and 33 kilograms, and their length varies from 1 to 1.4 meters.. Th… Enhydra lutris nereis, the southern sea otter, is native to central and southern California and was described by Merriam in 1904. After eating, they wash themselves in the ocean, cleaning their coat with their teeth and paws. Main Characteristics Of The Sea Otters Anatomy. The population is most secure in Russia. There is also a secondary pupping peak in late summer to early fall which may be associated with pup mortality during the winter months. Hopefully not stinky skunks!!! Another threats to sea otter that you can see is the habitat destruction. They eat 40 plus different types of species such as clams, urchins, and snails. Family: Mustelidae They eat, rest, groom themselves, and breed in the water. Southern Sea Otter . Species: Lutris Identify important sea otter resting and foraging areas adjacent to manmade structures 3. The tail comprises less than a third of the body length. Prepared in cooperation with Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (OCS Study BOEM 2017-002) Open-File Report 2017–1001 They are a keystone species, essential to the ecosystem, and they are facing some serious threats! There is a small population that lives south of Point Conception in the “No-Otter” management zone and a small “experimental” population of translocated lives at San Nicolas Island. Historically, southern sea otters have inhabited nearshore coastal ecosystem from northern California to Baja California in Mexico. The sea otter is covered in dense fur that consists of two layers. A 2014 study found that sea otters along the southern California coast were almost 10 times more likely to be located within kelp habitat than outside, while outside kelp beds sea otter numbers declined with distance from the edge of kelp canopies. Unlike other marine mammals, sea otters do not have a thick layer of blubber and rely upon their water-resistant fur for insulation.   Because of their voracious appetite, they are occasionally accused of driving their prey species into decline by fishermen who compete for the same prey species. There is a much larger population in Alaska, and sea otters are still found in Russia. They thrive in warm, coastal waters and usually remain within a kilometer from the shore. 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