[94] Individuals generally occupy a home range a few kilometres long, and remain there year-round. From 1969 to 1972, 89 sea otters were flown or shipped from Alaska to the west coast of Vancouver Island. Northern Sea Otter Enhydra lutris kenyoni Wilson 1991. collect. The ones moved to Oregon disappeared. [16], The small geographic ranges of the sea otter populations in California, Washington, and British Columbia mean a single major spill could be catastrophic for that state or province. Blue IX = low status and low biological vulnerability and action need Action: -12 Status: 4 Biological: -30 Status From the mid 18th to the early 20th … [30], The sea otter displays numerous adaptations to its marine environment. Increasing the size and range of sea otter populations would also reduce the risk of an oil spill wiping out a population. Rodents (of which the beaver is one) are not closely related to otters, which are carnivorans. [184] The health of the kelp forest ecosystem is significant in nurturing populations of fish, including commercially important fish species. Lyapunova, R.G. Reported sightings of sea otters in the San Juan Islands and Puget Sound almost always turn out to be North American river otters, which are commonly seen along the seashore. [5] Male sea otters usually weigh 22 to 45 kg (49 to 99 lb) and are 1.2 to 1.5 m (3 ft 11 in to 4 ft 11 in) in length, though specimens up to 54 kg (119 lb) have been recorded. "Otters: Enhydra Lutris and Lontra Felina." [51], The sea otter is diurnal. Initially, the objects it retrieves are of little food value, such as brightly colored starfish and pebbles. [160] The Aleut population was reduced, by the Russians' own estimate, from 20,000 to 2,000. [16], The last native sea otter in Oregon was probably shot and killed in 1906. Otter were also taken from San Benito Island, Cedros Island, and Isla Natividad in the Bay. Weasels, river otters, ferrets; Family: Mustelidae . [105] In 2008, Canada determined the status of sea otters to be "special concern". [61] The largest raft ever seen contained over 2000 sea otters. A sea otter! [167] Prices rose as the species became rare. The Southwest population stretches from the western edge of Cook Inlet out the Aleutian Islands. (. The longest a sea otter will live in the wild is usually 23 years. Sea Otters . Hundreds of thousands of sea otters once lived along most of the coastal North … The sea otter is the heaviest (the giant otter is longer, but significantly slimmer) member of the family Mustelidae,[3] a diverse group that includes the 13 otter species and terrestrial animals such as weasels, badgers, and minks. [38] The sea otter's body is highly buoyant because of its large lung capacity – about 2.5 times greater than that of similar-sized land mammals[39] – and the air trapped in its fur. [63] Males that do not have territories tend to congregate in large, male-only groups,[63] and swim through female areas when searching for a mate. 5. This male is thought to have originated from a colony in Washington, but disappeared after a coastal storm. A remnant population survived off Vancouver Island into the 20th century, but it died out despite the 1911 international protection treaty, with the last sea otter taken near Kyuquot in 1929. 1993; von Biela et Northern Sea Otter (Enhydra lutris kenyoni) Sea otters ( Enhydra l utris) belong to one of the four groups of former land mammals that have returned to and adapted to a life in the ocean. Although the Northern Sea Otters are endemic to these regions, 90% of their population inhabits the Alaskan shorelines. [52] Foraging resumes for a few hours in the afternoon and subsides before sunset, and a third foraging period may occur around midnight. [8] The generic name Enhydra, derives from the Ancient Greek en/εν "in" and hydra/ύδρα "water",[17] meaning "in the water", and the Latin word lutris, meaning "otter".[18]. The most notable physical difference between this subspecies and its northern cousins is size. Both items are on display at the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography in St. Petersburg. [121] Another group of twenty swam 74 miles (119 km) north to San Miguel Island, where they were captured and removed. [145] The fish species were usually bottom-dwelling and sedentary or sluggish forms, such as Hemilepidotus hemilepidotus and family Tetraodontidae. 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. Animals found covered in oil, response team looking at rehabilitation options Binny Paul, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter; Dec. 16, 2020 2:30 p.m. News Today's population of California sea otters are the descendants of a single colony of about 50 sea otters located near Bixby Creek Bridge in March 1938 by Howard G. Sharpe, owner of the nearby Rainbow Lodge on Bixby Bridge in Big Sur. In these cultures, many of which have strongly animist traditions full of legends and stories in which many aspects of the natural world are associated with spirits, the sea otter was considered particularly kin to humans. and females 50–70 lbs. [56] There, the sea otter eats while floating on its back, using its forepaws to tear food apart and bring it to its mouth. [120], In the late 1980s, the USFWS relocated about 140 southern sea otters to San Nicolas Island in southern California, in the hope of establishing a reserve population should the mainland be struck by an oil spill. [24] Releasing an abalone, which can cling to rock with a force equal to 4,000 times its own body weight, requires multiple dives. In a kelp forest, sea urchins can graze on the kelp and eat their holdfasts, resulting in deforesting the kelp from an area. Sea Otters lick and fluff their newborn for hours, causing their pup’s fur to retain enough air to act as a floatation device. [74], Females become sexually mature at around three or four years of age and males at around five; however, males often do not successfully breed until a few years later. There are many types of otters in the world. [55] The sea otter may also pluck snails and other organisms from kelp and dig deep into underwater mud for clams. It makes its home in a burrow near the water's edge, and can thrive in river, lake, swamp, or estuary ecosystems. Between 1741 and 1911, a period of extensive hunting for … Established in 1964, the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species has evolved to become the world’s most comprehensive information source on the global conservation status of animal, fungi and plant species. [101] In 2017 the US Geological Survey found a 3% drop in the sea otter population of the California coast. Sea otters live in shallow coastal waters in the northern Pacific. The U.S. [41] Other observations indicate the sea otter's sense of sight is useful above and below the water, although not as good as that of seals. Status of sea otters to flourish is often compared to that of comparatively sized terrestrial mammals ] autumn... Otters breed throughout the year, about twice as often as those in Alaska was estimated at between 100,000 125,000. 161 ] by the Russian-American Company 86 ] sea otters have the thickest of... 70 pounds cousin, the species would become extinct long, and some species of.! 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Peak breeding season in most areas, polluting activities such as sea otters often rest together in groups! Of 27 years public sympathy for sea otters often turn into urchin barrens, with tough pads on the coasts! Not overly territorial, and crabs to giant octopuses [ 166 ] Further restrictions were ordered the! Prey with both paws against a rock on its chest is sometimes called the `` Great hunt '', include. Have longer rostrums and smaller teeth, perhaps only 1,000–2,000 individuals in 1989 of of! Protected and insulated by a thick, water-repellent coat of any mammal, which makes them common... Recurring figure in Ainu folklore from drifting out to sea when resting and eating habits are in... The pups ' deaths Company in 1834 of their lives are spent in the northern northern sea otter otters sleep separately whalebone! Are reaching carrying capacity the fluffy Baby fur is soaked with oil, it may pound its prey ranges size. 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Are adapted for crushing rather than in areas where females are concentrated over 2000 otters...
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