Have you ever wondered where sea otters swim along the California coastline throughout the year?  Each otter icon above represents a sea otter from the study. Click on an otter to see a track history of that animal. (Zooming in or out on the map will reveal additional animals).  Stay tuned for more otters and additional features!


Why do scientists capture, tag and track sea otters?

Capturing, tagging and tracking sea otters help scientists gain a better understanding of how they live and the contributing factors threatening the recovery of the species.  By surgically implanting a small device in their abdomens, researchers can track and monitor their overall health, foraging habits and reproduction success.  These multi-year studies, which typically involve a study group of several dozen animals, are conducted by a collaborative team of researchers from the Monterey Bay Aquarium, U.S. Geological Survey, University of California Santa Cruz, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

This research is authorized by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. USFWS is responsible for the recovery and management of the southern sea otter, and is the authorizing agency for research permits concerning many threatened and endangered species.


Upcoming Features and Multimedia! 

Capturing Sea Otters

Sea Otters in Surgery

Monitoring Sea Otters





About 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. is also home of the world's first HD live stream of southern sea otters in the wild.