Sea Otter

Endangered Species

Status & Adaptations

  • Endangered worldwide currently
  • Only otter to give birth in water
  • Member of the weasel family
  • Been endangered since 1977
  • Nurture their young while floating on their back
  • Put shellfish on their chest and crack them open
  • They sleep on their back in a group
  • Water repellent skin to keep them dry and warm
  • Nostrils and ears that close in water
  • Webbed feet

Location & History

Sea otters are located along the coasts of the Pacific Ocean in North America and Asia. They are found on all continents except for Australia and Antarctica. They are usually found not more than 100 meters from because they are almost completely dependent on water for their habitat and food.
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Sea otters are specifically threatened from the oil that is put into the water. The BP oil spill had a huge affect on the population of sea otters as many died off. Oil impairs the otters to stay warm causing these cute little mammals to have hypothermia. Also if the sea otters ingest the oil it can cause harm to the internal organs. The owner of the BP oil spill would be responsible for the oil harming the sea otters. Currently the largest human threat to sea otters are the fishing traps and nets. The traps take away from what they eat leaving them starving. The nets sometimes get stuck on the sea otters skin causing it to mat. When their skin mats it looses its warmth and the leading cause of deaths within sea otters is hypothermia.
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Why are Sea Otters important?

  • Iconic Species, represents beauty and diversity in marine wildlife
  • Keystone Species because of their critical important to healthy and stability of near shore marine ecosystem
  • Eat sea urchins and other invertebrates that graze on giant kelp
  • Without these Sea Otters, these grazing animals can destroy kelp forests and the animals that rely on them as a habitat for survival
  • Sea otters provide a positive impact on the economy, without them certain state would loose money
  • Presents gains in tourism aspects, jobs for people, and people get money from commercially fishing and trapping these mammals
  • We can help by cutting down on the number of sea otters because kept in captivity and shows and killed for their meat and rather let the sea otters be and live on their own like they're suppose to.
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Current conservation efforts!

SORAC (saving sea otters at the Monterrey Coast) is an organization that is studying and trying to save these sea otters since 1984. They rescue, treat, and release injured sea otters as well as provide care for those sea otters that cant return to the sea.

Defenders of wildlife is another organization based in California and Alaska that its primary focus on saving the sea otter. They have launched a program for state residents to provide funds for sea otter research and law enforcement.

The endangered specifies act of 1973 works to protect those animals that are at risk. Certain states have different laws, but if you break them you are held accountable and may have to serve jail time.

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Sea Otter Grooming SUPER CUTE