Sea otter counts are conducted annually by the U.S. Geological Survey. Before the fur trade of the 18th and 19th centuries, sea otters ranged along the North Pacific Rim from Hokkaido, Japan to Baja California, Mexico. There is one species of sea otter and three subspecies, the California or Southern sea otter is found off the central coast of California, the Northern sea otter is found in the waters off Alaska and Canada, and the common or Asian sea otter is found along coastlines of Japan and Russia. Southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis), also known as California sea otters, were listed as threatened in 1977 under the Endangered Species Act. Have you ever seen an otter with a scarred or bloody nose? Sea otter fur is the densest of any mammal at about 1 million hairs per square inch (We have 100,000 hairs on our entire head). Sea otters have built in pouches of loose skin under their forearms to stash extra prey when diving. Shallow water no more than 100 feet deep is the otter’s preferred habitat, because it means less time spent diving for food. On an adult animal, there are an estimated 650,000 hairs per square inch. Fact2: Weighing between 30 and 100 pounds, the sea otter is the world’s smallest species of marine mammal. Sea Otters sporadically go onto shore to rest and sometimes in the winter go on sandy, cobble, snow covered beaches, small icebergs or when population density is high. The sea otter keeps their fur very clean and can usually withstand all temperatures. 2493 Portola Road, Suite B 5. The Southern sea otter is native to the coast of California. If you come across a sea otter you think is sick, injured or abandoned, please give it space and call The Marine Mammal Center’s stranding hotline at (415) 289-7325. Ventura, CA 93003, Southern Sea Otter (Enhydra lutris nereis) 5-Year Review: Summary and Evaluation 3.31mb PDF, Final Incidental Harassment Authorization for Waterfront Repairs at U.S. Coast Guard Station Monterey, Request for Incidental Harassment Authorization for Waterfront Repairs at U.S. Coast Guard Station Monterey, Proposed Incidental Harassment Authorization, Final Incidental Harassment Authorization, Marine Mammals; Incidental Take During Specified Activities; Proposed Incidental Harassment Authorization, Incidental Harassment Authorization Request and Monitoring Plan, Comments Received on Proposed Incidental Harassment Authorization, Big Sur Monterey Sea Otter Study Draft Report PDF 8.5mb, Featured Story - Slowly Swimming Towards Recovery, California's Sea Otter Numbers Holding Steady, Termination of the Southern Sea Otter Translocation Program; Final Rule, Summary of comments received on final SEIS and Proposed Rule, Letter to Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy Donald Schregardus FSEIS Comments [871 kb], Final Supplemental EIS on the Translocation of Southern Sea Otters - Volume 1 [5.59mb], Final Supplemental EIS on the Translocation of Southern Sea Otters - Volume 2 [18.74mb], Final Recovery Plan for the Southern Sea Otter [1.8mb)], Ventura Fish and Wildlife Office Ventura, California 93003, Southern Sea Otter (Enhydra lutris nereis) 5-Year Review: Summary and Evaluation, Big Sur Monterey Sea Otter Study Draft Report, Letter to Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy Donald Schregardus FSEIS Comments, Final Supplemental EIS on the Translocation of Southern Sea Otters - Volume 1, Final Supplemental EIS on the Translocation of Southern Sea Otters - Volume 2, Final Recovery Plan for the Southern Sea Otter. They are usually seen in rocky marine habitats where there is a high abundance of kelp canopy and typically in water depths about 20 m. Kelp canopy is an important habitat component used for resting and foraging. Sea otters eat many kinds of invertebrates, including sea urchins, abalone, clams, crabs, snails, sea stars, squid & octopuses. Historically, southern sea otters were present in coastal marine habitats from northern California to Baja California in Mexico. Is there a pupping season? Ivy (left) is our youngest otter at about four years old, while Kit (right) is about six years old and one of our biggest otters at roughly 50 pounds. With few exceptions, their prey consist of slow moving benthic invertebrates and shellfish. These stressors include biotoxins produced during harmful algal or cyanobacterial blooms, disease-causing pathogens such as the protozoal parasites Toxoplasma gondii and Sarcocystis neurona, and acanthocephalan parasites. Southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis), also known as California sea otters, were listed as threatened in 1977 under the Endangered Species Act. Education. Predators and Prey of the Sea Otter The sea otter's diet includes about 40 marine species, including urchins, crabs, clams, abalones, mussels, and snails. Wild sea otters typically have a lifespan between 15 and 20 years. Sea otters are commonly spotted on WWF’s Alaska tours. A Sea Otter's Diet Sea otters eat a wide variety of prey, including marine invertebrates such as echinoderms (sea stars and sea urchins), crustaceans (e.g., crabs), cephalopods (e.g., squid), bivalves (clams, mussels, abalone), gastropods (snails), and chitons. Deepest dive recorded is 264 feet. Hopefully not stinky skunks!!! Southern sea otters can live to approximately 15 years for males and 16 years for females. Otters are part of the Mustelidae family, which is a family of … They can use a rock to dislodge mollusks and urchins from the rocks where they are attached. The very recent (2015-2016) increase in sea otter numbers in the center of the range may be due to an increase in sea urchin abundance resulting in part from the near-total loss of sea stars, an important predator of sea urchins, from the Pacific coast due to wasting disease. Average length of an adult California sea otter is about 4 ft. A group of sea otters resting together is called a raft. They are mostly found in temperate or cold coastal waters with plentiful forests of giant kelp beds. The sea otter can live its entire life without leaving the water. If you have any questions regarding the southern sea otter, please contact: Lilian Carswell - Southern Sea Otter Recovery & Marine Conservation Coordinator, By mail: The animals that they prey on devour kelp forests. Unlike other marine mammals, sea otters do not have a thick layer of blubber and rely upon their water-resistant fur for insulation. Want to watch cute sea otters romp, wrestle and play every day of the year? Contamination of their fur by oily substances can destroy its insulating properties and lead to hypothermia and death. Once at the surface, they often eat by placing the food on their stomachs, and then placing a rock on their stomachs and then smashing the prey on the rock to open it and get at the flesh inside. If sea otters migrate , it is due to the abundance of food in an area and kelp. Other threats to southern sea otters include entrapment or entanglement in fishing gear, oil spills, and climate change. The southern sea otters are carnivores (which means they eat only meat). Most common prey for California sea otters are Rock and Dungeness crabs. Description. Therefore, sea otters are crucial to maintaining kelp forest levels, which provide cover and food for many marine animals. They eat 40 plus different types of species such as clams, urchins, and snails. Their teeth are strong enough to crunch open a clam shell or bite through a sea urchin's spines. Fun Facts. Interesting Facts About the Sea Otter. What's cuter than two furry sea otters? 9. 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. Nope. Fun Facts for Kids. Oil spills. Sea otters are members of the weasel or mustelid family. Southern Sea Otter Enhydra lutris nereis : Fun Facts • Sea otters do not have blubber to keep warm, instead they have very dense fur (up to one million hairs per square inch). Sea otters have the thickest fur of any marine mammal, averaging 850,000 … Sea otters are streamlined marine mammals, which look like a larger, fluffier, version of their freshwater cousins, river otters. Sea otters eat about 25% of their weight every day, and is arguably the number one cause in sea otter deaths, when they cannot forage enough food… Sea otters are part of the weasel family. Sea Otter Sea otters are part of the weasel family. • To maintain its body temperature, the sea otter eats 25% to 35% of its body weight in single day. The sea otter is a generalist predator, known to consume more than 150 different prey species. 2493 Portola Road, Suite B There is, additionally, a small colony near San Nicolas Island off Santa Barbara. That’s the same as an average teenager eating 120 hamburgers. Like other members of this family, they have very thick fur. Humans have 100,000 pieces in total on their head, while otters have up to one million hairs per square inch. The southern sea otter measures up to 4 feet (1.2 m) in length; females weigh up to 50 pounds (23 kg) and males up to 70 pounds (32 kg). They use their flat, webbed hind feet to swim and have been known to swim up to 5mph. 1. Sea Otter Facts: Families Groups of sea otters are called ‘rafts’. Sea Otter: The Animal’s Predator and Prey . A sea otter relies on its fur to keep warm because it doesn't have an insulating layer of blubber as other marine mammals do. They eat 40 plus different types of species such as clams, urchins, and snails. There is one species of sea otter and three subspecies, the California or Southern sea otter is found off the central coast of California, the Northern sea otter is found in the waters off Alaska and Canada, and the common or Asian sea otter is found along coastlines of Japan and Russia. 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