2016 Sea Otter Survey Results Encouraging, But Hurdles For Population Recovery Remain

Release Date: September 19, 2016 SANTA CRUZ, California — The southern sea otter, Enhydra lutris nereis, continues its climb toward recovery, according to the annual count released today by the U.S. Geological Survey and partners. For the first time, southern sea otters’ numbers have exceeded 3,090, which is the threshold that must be exceeded for [...]

Raft of sea otters, Monterey Bay, CA

Sea Otters Shot and Killed in Santa Cruz County

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and California Department of Fish and Wildlife Law Enforcement Officials Seek Information to Aid in Investigation The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) are looking for information that will lead to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for the shooting [...]

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Energetic Demands of Rearing a Pup Push Sea Otter Moms to the Limit

A new study conducted by researchers from UC Santa Cruz, U.S. Geological Survey and the Monterey Bay Aquarium finds the energetic cost of rearing a sea otter pup is significantly higher than previously estimated.  Just how hard do otter moms work?  The study, published in the Journal of Experimental Biology, reveals a sea otter mom’s [...]

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Yes, Wild Sea Otters Hold Hands

Yes, Wild Sea Otters Hold Hands

Pawesome! For the first time ever, wild sea otters have been observed clasping front paws (i.e. holding hands). Photo © Drew Wharton

Pup 719

Sea Otter Pup Rescued from Storms by Monterey Bay Aquarium Finds Permanent Home at Shedd Aquarium

CHICAGO – A recognized leader in animal care and conservation, Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium announced today that it has welcomed a 10 -week-old orphaned southern sea otter pup (Enhydra lutris nereis) to the aquarium as part of a collaborative partnership with Monterey Bay Aquarium – a leader in the conservation and rescue of the threatened marine [...]

Sea otter pup asleep on mom

Californians, Please Remember Sea Otters on Tax Day!

California’s southern sea otter has been listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act since 1977.  39 years later and counting, their conservation status remains unchanged and their future remains uncertain.  Despite decades of protection, the southern sea otter population’s growth has stalled and the species shows few signs of recovery. Recent studies have [...]

Invasive North Atlantic algae species found growing on California sea otters

An invasive North Atlantic algae species has been found growing on California sea otters. Although the red algae doesn’t appear to be impacting sea otter health, scientists are concerned. For a species that devotes significant time grooming and actively maintaining their coat, the algae could add to their already strenuous daily energetic demands and potentially jeopardize [...]

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Thinking Like an Ocean

Recovery of Southern sea otters requires more than rescuing the species from the brink of extinction—recovery is also about the restoration of ecological relationships. In his famous essay, “Thinking like a Mountain,” Aldo Leopold recounts an epiphany he experienced while watching the “fierce green fire” fade from the eyes of a dying wolf: “I thought [...]

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California Man Sentenced for Harassing Federally Threatened Southern Sea Otter, Violating Endangered Species Act

NEWS RELEASE: November 12, 2015 Media Contact: Ashley Spratt, 805-644-1766 ext. 369 ashley_spratt@fws.gov A California man has been sentenced to 150 hours of community service, a $500 fine, and six months of probation, following intentional harassment of a southern sea otter in Moss Landing, California. Richard Niswonger, 71, of Moss Landing, California pleaded guilty and [...]


Numbers Encouraging, but Shark Bites Still Problematic for Sea Otter Recovery

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — The recovery of southern sea otters appears to have taken an upturn, according to results from the annual California sea otter survey released by the U.S. Geological Survey today. Yet despite an overall increase in sea otter abundance, sharks have been “taking a bite” out of the portion of the population [...]

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About seaotters.com

Seaotters.com is dedicated to raising awareness about California's threatened sea otters and the role research plays in the species recovery and conservation. It's a collaboration of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, U.C. Santa Cruz, U.C. Davis, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, among others. Seaotters.com is also home of the world's first HD live stream of southern sea otters in the wild.