Sea Otters

Sea Otters:

Sea otters have long been hunted for their luxurious pelts. The dense soft fur has been highly coveted for hundreds of years. They were nearly hunted to extinction in the 1800's and 1900's. Sea otters, like other marine mammals, give live birth to few young, thus making population recovery a slow and arduous process (Nowak 2003). Aside from the threat of hunting, sea otters are especially susceptible to oil spills. Unlike other marine mammals, sea otters do not have blubber, thus their watertight fur is responsible for thermo-regulation. Oil spills reduce the otters' capacity to stay warm. Death from hypothermia is extremely common in otter populations immediately after oil spills. Today, little is known about the abundance of sea otters, or the effects of conservation efforts. (Nowak 2003).


Sea Otters in the Puget Sound:


Page by: Lindsay France: Environmental Science; Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences; University of Washington, Tacoma

Advisor: Dr. Bonnie J. Becker (For more information contact Dr. Becker at B J Becker at u dot washington dot edu)

Source: Nowak, R. M. 2003. Walker's Marine Mammals of the World. 6th ed. John Hopkins University Press. London.