Diet: Sea Urchins, Mollusks, Crustaceans and some species of fish . California’s southern sea otter has been listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act since 1977. Without sea otters, sea urchins can overpopulate the sea floor and devour the kelp forests that provide cover and food for many other marine animals. An “indicator” species is an organism that is relatively sedentary and tends to bio-magnify and/or be sensitive to contaminants. Male sea otters have multiple female partners and are territorial during the breeding season from September to November. Sea otters have a very high metabolic rate and must consume the equivalent of 20 to 30 % of their body weight per day to maintain their body heat. ... Southern Sea Otters. However, abalones are restricted to deep crevices, out of reach of otter and human harvesters. The gestation period is about 6 months. But due to the fur trade, their numbers plummeted in the early 1900s. Sea Otters have "pockets" in their skin and fur so they can tuck away a food item until returning to the surface to eat. Abalone numbers are often high within the sea otters range. River otters (genus Lutra) inhabit all types of inland waterways, as well as estuaries and marine coves. Historical Home Range – California to Baja, CA, Dedicated to Protecting the California Sea Otter, sea otters may be responsible for the relatively large size of abalones. Most Sea Otter "raft" in kelp beds with other otters. Adult males weight between 22 and 45 kilograms and measure from 1.2 to 1.5 meters.On the other hand the adult females usually weigh between 14 and 33 kilograms, and their length varies from 1 to 1.4 meters.. Sea otters are now legally free to expand into their former range. Most of the otters that are still alive, have to make sure their habitat will be secure enough for their babies. Sea otters are part of the weasel family. Incidence of disease in sea otters is also correlated with contaminants such as tributyltin (used as an anti-fouling agent in boat paint), DDT (a banned pesticide) and PCBs. Southern Sea Otter Range Expansion and Habitat Use in the Santa Barbara Channel, California By M. Tim Tinker, Joseph Tomoleoni, Nicole LaRoche, Lizabeth Bowen, A. Keith Miles, Mike Murray, Michelle Staedler, and Zach Randell . The sea otter is covered in dense fur that consists of two layers. Southern Sea Otter . Sea Otter’s tails are smaller than other otters to reduce surface area. The life of a southern sea otter Sea otters spend most of their time near the shore. The otter's habitat is in danger, though. Sea otters feed on a wide variety of marine invertebrates including clams, mussels, sea urchins, marine snails, crabs, and abalone. Fun Facts for Kids. Taxonomy: An estuary is the mouth of the river and where the tide meets the stream. . Molting of their fur takes place gradually throughout the year and frequent grooming is essential to maintain its insulative properties. Most species are entirely dependent on aquatic habitats for food. Sea otters prefer coastal habitats within a mile of the shoreline. Sea otters are meticulously clean. Sea otters are charismatic and a favored target for protection, yet their protection has created large conflicts with two major industries, oil transportation and fishing. Southern sea otters, also known as California sea otters, live in the waters along the central California coastline. Today southern sea otters have reclaimed about 13 percent of their historic range: the mainland coastline from San Mateo County to Santa Barbara County, California, and San Nicolas Island, Ventura County (as a result of translocation efforts initiated in 1987). They live on a wet coast or in the ocean where they find their prey. Determine the extent of movements and spatial use patterns by sea otters along the southern California coast 2. Prepared in cooperation with Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (OCS Study BOEM 2017-002) Open-File Report 2017–1001 Sea otters in general have a varied diet but research has shown that individuals tend to specialize on a few main prey species and this specialization in prey preference is passed on from mother to pup. They do however alter the distribution of prey species due to their predator-prey relationship. 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 to feed themselves. Sea otters use rocks, other shellfish, or man-made objects to pry prey from rocks and use them as a hammer or anvil to break open the hard outer shell of some prey species. They do most of their foraging within about half a mile of shore. Adult sea otters standard length is on average 4 ft. 3 in. Otter skeleton sketch based on 1947 illustration. Sea Otters have very distinct habitats. Both northern and southern sea otters once inhabited the Oregon coast. A southern sea otter in it's habitat with one of the many other organisms living near it. Sea otter is found along coastal areas of the northern Pacific Ocean and the southern Bering Sea. Sea otters naturally thrive in nearshore habitats. CARMEL, Calif. (Sept. 29, 2017) – The southern sea otter population dropped in the last year, ... is the removal of the 20+ year No Otter Zone that prohibited the free movement of sea otters throughout their natural habitat in Southern … Identify important sea otter resting and foraging areas adjacent to manmade structures 3. We only ever rescue one sea otter pup every couple of years, and we do not have non-releasable adult sea otters that would have survival skills to pass on. They typically use … southern sea otter population should be designated a DPS. An umbrella species is a species whose conservation confers protection to a large number of naturally co-occurring species (Roberge and Angelstam, 2003). Historically, southern sea otters were present in coastal marine habitats from northern California to Baja California in Mexico. Sea otters are known to carry rocks when they dive, to increase their weight when diving, as well as to crack open shells and protective armor, so they can eat the meat inside the shellfish. Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach; Millie debuts at the Sea Otter Habitat on Feb. 27, 2020; Southern sea otters faced possible extinction just a century ago Southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis), also known as California sea otters, have been listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act since 1977. 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. 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