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 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 […]

Sea otters

3 Sea Otters Shot to Death in Pacific Grove, CA

Incredibly sad and disturbing news to report.  3 sea otters were found shot to death in Pacific Grove, CA. Federal wildlife officials are offering a $21,000 reward for information leading to an arrest of the individual(s) responsible for the shootings.  Sea otters are federally protected under the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection […]


Today We’re Thrilled to Announce the Launch of

Today we’re thrilled to announce the launch of, the world’s first HD live video stream of California sea otters in the wild. Today also marks the 37-year anniversary for the southern sea otter’s official listing as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act, so it’s a very special day indeed. We’d first like […]

sea otter mom and pup

Happy 40th Endangered Species Act!

On December 28, 1973, the Endangered Species Act (ESA) was signed into law.  Four years later, in 1977, California’s southern sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis) was listed under the ESA as a threatened species – a conservation status which remains to this day. With the current population estimated at only 2,900 animals, sea otters still […]

Raft of sea otters, Monterey Bay, CA

The Southern Sea Otter: A ‘Threatened’ Species Now for 36 Years

California’s southern sea otter was officially listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act on January 14, 1977.  36 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. Learn […]

Sea otter eating black abalone

Don’t Blame Sea Otters for Abalone Decline

Can’t we all just get along?  This question is one we might want to ask of sea otter conservation and advocacy groups and sea urchin and other shellfish advocacy groups. The latter have recently argued before Congress that the recovery of the Southern sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis), listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act […]

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.