Sea otter pup asleep on mom

California Sea Otters Are More Than Endearing Coastal Icons

This op-ed originally appeared in the Santa Barbara News-Press on May 20, 2012. Used with permission.   California sea otters are more than endearing coastal icons. They play a vital role in creating healthy ecosystems that support a wealth of ocean wildlife — and the people who benefit from that abundance. No one alive knows known how […]

Sea otter stranding

Did You Know Sea Otters Can Transmit Diseases to Humans?

A Zoonotic Disease Found in Sea Otters – Coccidioides immitis Melissa A. Miller also contributed to this piece When responding to sick/injured Southern sea otters or recovering carcasses, responders should be aware of the potential health hazards associated with wildlife contact. This is one reason the public is encouraged to call the proper authorities rather than […]

Southern sea otter

California Coastal Commission Gives Green Light to End the ‘No-Otter’ Zone

Since 1987, sea otters have been ‘prohibited’ by Federal law from swimming into or living along the entire southern coast of California – an area that stretches from Point Conception (Santa Barbara County) down to the Mexican border.  That’s all about to change. Last Thursday, the California Coastal Commission (CCC) confirmed by unanimous vote that […]

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Sea Otter Mortality Pie Chart: 1998 - 2003

Sea Otter Mortality: Learning to Read Between the Lines

Scientists working on Southern sea otter conservation use various measures to assess long-term population trends. Because ongoing, high mortality is one important obstacle to sea otter recovery, those that die are examined closely by disease specialists and veterinary pathologists. Their findings are compiled into summary reports that help sea otter biologists and other scientists to […]

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Sea otter pup

Making a Difference: The California Sea Otter Fund

The California Sea Otter Fund supports researchers working to understand what’s threatening sea otters so we can find ways to help them recover.  Each year the Fund must meet a target goal in order to stay on the tax form the following year.  You can contribute to the CA Sea Otter Fund when filing your CA income […]

Oiled Sea Otter Hauled Out After the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill

Sea Otters and Oil: Avenues of Exposure and Health Effects

Terrie M. Williams also contributed to this piece. Sea otters are more vulnerable to the effects of an oil spill than any other marine mammal. This results from the small size, high metabolic rate, complete reliance on fur for thermo-insulation and prolonged periods of time floating or swimming and the sea surface where oil concentrates. […]

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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.