We’ve teamed up with Adi Barocas in Peru, to understand what’s happening and what we can do to reverse the fortunes of this fantastic, charismatic species. If there is not kelp to help reduce levels of carbon dioxide in the ocean, then marine environments are threatened due to the high acidity levels. With your help we can use what we've learned about sea otter care and surrogacy to build their numbers, and also the health of California's essential coastal habitats. We HAVE to help! That's why keeping cats indoors (or in a catio!) When sea otters are underwater foraging for food, they make use of the loose skin under their armpits, using the area like pockets to store food as they continue their search. 1) Reduce the amount of storm drain pollution and kitty litter flushed down toilets 2) Buy environmentally friendly products You're the driving force behind this critical work. People can help sea otters by decreasing the amount of pollutants we disperse into their natural habitats. Sea otters became endangered marine animals in 1972. Many people may see that sea otter is just a small animal and it even can breed twice a year which means it is not so important to protect this species. In the protected environment of a zoological park, scientists can examine aspects of otter biology that are difficult to study in the wild. Make sure it’s working properly; have it inspected every 2 years. Create a bar graph that shows the global sea otter population. The roots take in water, reducing the amount of runoff. Take them to a hazardous waste center. A sea otter rests on its back with its head, arms and flippers in the air, and looks like two lumps close together. We can make a difference. © 2021 Awesome Ocean. Identify the location and range of the sea otter in Canada. Lastly, and most provocative, is research showing that the presence of otters can help boost the populations of other ocean animals. There are several ways that YOU can help sea otters, like recycling, using less water, picking up our pet’s waste, etc. Sea otters are usually dark brown, often with lighter guard ha… Sea otters can sometimes be seen off sandy beaches — and even local harbors. They are not at the top of the food web, however, and are eaten by orcas, great white sharks and other large predators. The sea otter can usually be found in kelp beds, and looks very much like lumps of kelp. 6. These aquatic members of the weasel family are often seen floating on their backs. Sea otters are downstream from all human activity. See the fact file below for more information on the sea otters or alternatively, you can download our 25-page Sea Otter worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment. The habits and methods of eating differ by species as well. Describe sea otter characteristics. …and speak out, both locally and nationally. Don’t litter or dump materials into storm drains. People actively hunted for the sea otters’ wool in the 18th century, which meant destructive influence for the species, and sea otters began to occur less frequently and less frequently in the natural habitat. With resplendent, thick fur, otters were voraciously hunted until not a single one could be seen along the California coast. …down the drain. We at Sea Otter Savvy believe that most disturbance to sea otters is unintentional, motivated not by the intent to do harm but by lack of awareness. and disposing properly of their waste helps prevent the spread of disease to sea otter populations. But individuals can help sea otters by promoting the respectful sharing of space with our wild neighbors: know, follow and share guidelines for safe viewing of sea otters and all kinds of wildlife, model responsible behavior when you are on the water, and foster an ethic of respect and empathy towards all making a living in our coastal community, human and non-human. Please see our Bay Area map. Use nontoxic household cleaning products. What We Can Learn about the Coast from Sick Sea Otters A new study finds cat poop parasites in otter brains. Scientists from the Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute (HSWRI), in cooperation with other facilities and volunteers, coordinated efforts to rescue and treat sea otters affected by the 1989 oi… They were so young that they didn’t know how to eat by themselves or groom themselves yet. Research by Tim and fellow University of California, Santa Cruz scientist Brent Hughes suggests otters can help restore the health and biodiversity of estuaries like Elkhorn Slough, too. In theory, yes. The total population of southern sea otters is approximately 2,900 animals. Like other members of this family, they have very thick fur. VOTE VOTE VOTE. The sea otters at the Vancouver Aquarium were rescued when they were just babies. In the 1900s, seas otters numbers were down in the 1000s-2000s because of the ongoing fur trade. All Rights Reserved. Remember even if you don’t live near the sea all drains run to into streams which flow into rivers and eventually reach our oceans. Hundreds of thousands of sea otters used to live on the Pacific coast between northern Mexico to Alaska. It is not harmless, and is extremely damaging to fish. Identify the greatest threat to the sea otter , and personal actions that could help with sea otter conservation and protection. …in the trash, and pick up after your dog or cat. Food Choices and Location Influence California Sea Otter Exposure to Disease. 5. Another reason that sea otters are susceptible to oil spills is because they often travel in large same-sex rafts (Environment Canada, 2011). Sea otters are usually solitary but are sometimes seen in groups—gatherings of up to 2,000 have been observed along the coast of Alaska. There are several ways that YOU can help sea otters, like recycling, using less water, picking up our pet’s waste, etc. Grow a garden. In this manner, sea otters are keystone predators in the kelp forests where they live. … if you own property along the side of a stream. One way to help is to bag and dispose of cat litter instead of flushing. Support environmental legislation, such as the EPA, Clean Water and Clean Air Acts. These interactions can be positive (harmonious for both human and sea otter) or negative (disturbance to sea otters and/or injury to human). …and participate in events as a volunteer. Sea otters are downstream from all human activity. Sea otters were locally extinct in British Columbian waters in Canada, until a plane containing a romp of otters arrived and set off a population boom – with unintended consequences. Rodenticides not only kill rats and mice by causing catastrophic internal bleeding, but cause secondary poisoning to any other animal that preys on the dying rodent. The southern sea otter was believed to be extinct, and otters in Alaskan waters were similarly imperiled. Sea otters feed on sea urchins, which allow kelp forests to prosper and in turn diminishes the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. River otters and all animals love willow thickets. Females otters nature at 3 years of age and males at age 5. Sea otters have small front legs and stiff toes for handling food, while strong back legs with webbed feet allow for graceful paddling through the water. The mission of the giant otter research team is to understand if and how the demography, behaviour and health of giant otters are affected by the recent changes to their habitat. By maintaining healthy kelp forests, sea otters also indirectly help to reduce levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, a prevalent greenhouse gas, as kelp absorbs and sequesters carbon. The return of sea otters to historic habitats can restore ecosystems and bring economic benefits, but hungry otters can also threaten the food security of remote indigenous communities. Today, only about 2,000 southern sea otters exist, and they face many dangers—like oil spills, entanglement in fishing gear, diseases and pollution. Volunteer to help or create a beach clean up. Sea otters today are considered a species that is endangered. Tips for spotting a sea otter. Have an area in the garage or shed to save them for proper disposal. This system traps a layer of air next to their skin so their skin does not get wet. …instead of allowing contaminated water to run off into storm drains. Learn more about ocean issues and share your knowledge. The population of sea otters is continuing to decrease today, with only 8,000 to 10,000 left. But the potential is definitely there.” Make sure you pick up used fishing line and hooks! Sea otters can eat 25 to 30 percent of their body weight in one day, which would be equivalent to a 175-pound human eating 45 pounds of food in one day. Range expansion is key to southern sea otter recovery and to the restoration of ecosystems in which sea otters were once the keystone species. …and dispose of it properly. The last sea otter in B.C. “If sea otters are getting sick by accidentally eating pathogens that come from cat poop, we should all be worried,” Shapiro said. Sea otters became endangered marine animals in 1972. Along the Pacific coast, sea otters help control the sea urchin population. 5) File a petition to raise the status of sea otters from threatened to endangered. Although the efforts to protect these animals continues to increase, there are many things you can do to help save the sea otters. 1. And sea … and disposing properly of their waste helps prevent the spread of disease to sea otter populations. When the sea otter is trying to lose heat, they extend their feet out underwater to maximize their surface area. Support environmental legislation, such as the EPA, Clean Water and Clean Air Acts. You can’t protect what you don’t know. Dispose of them in the garbage, or some pharmacies have collection days. When urchin populations spiked in response, the reefs held their ground. Sea otters are also at increased risk of diseases and parasites contracted from animals on land. Sea otters are particularly vulnerable to oil contamination because oiling drastically reduces the insulating and water-repellent properties of their fur. Working together, citizens and scientists can make the land to sea connection a … Sea Otters Could Get New Home in San Francisco Bay. “ Toxoplasma gondii is a red flag for a much broader problem of pathogens polluting our waterways and ending up in the ocean.” Storm drains go directly to streams. Keep informed, and let your legislators know that you support strong protection for the environment. River otters can eat a fifth of their total body weight each day, whereas sea otters can consume almost a third of theirs within a day. Pick up after your pets. Make your gift today! Finally, sea otters … The roots take in water, reducing the amount of runoff. was shot near Kyuquot on the west coast of Vancouver Island in 1929. We receive no government funding, and depend solely on financial support from our friends. The animals that they prey on devour kelp forests. Instead, use Integrated Pest Management practices (google it and find many excellent, organic suggestions). Sea otters floating in kelp. At night, sea otters may choose either … Sea otter pups can become stranded from their mothers when the moms get wounded or the pups wash away in strong currents. Unlike other marine mammals, sea otters do not have a thick layer of blubber and rely upon their water-resistant fur for insulation. If one raft of 200 males were to be caught in an oil spill, this would greatly reduce the fertility of the sea otter population moving forward, and likely have significant population trauma many years into the future (Environment Canada, 2011). 7. Sea otters naturally thrive in nearshore habitats. Scientist claim that up to 40 percent of these deaths are results of human pollution. Southern sea otters can live to approximately 15 years for males and 16 years for females. Eighty-nine sea otters were slowly reintroduced to B.C. Plant native plants appropriate for your garden. …about how you’re working toward healthy watersheds, and recruit them. Sea otter exhibit. It’s unnecessary unless you live in Flint, it’s wasteful of oil, it adds plastics to the system, and it’s less regulated than you might think. They help kelp forests to flourish by keeping sea urchin numbers under control. They keep sea urchin populations in check, which allows kelp to flourish and provides habitat for a host of other species. Reduce, reuse, and recycle whenever you can. The sea otter is covered in dense fur that consists of two layers. Monday, December 14, 2020 1:08pm Our organization is not affiliated with any other otter-related research group or community outreach organization. 1. Fewer sea urchins in turn help prevent kelp forests from being overgrazed. … get into streams or lakes, eg., from lotions, perfumes, sunscreens. The River Otter Ecology Project is a registered 501 (c)(3) EIN #45-4997526 non-profit organization dedicated to the welfare of river otters and our watershed. Take a walk, watch birds, find out what animals, plants and other living things live there. Unfortunately sea otters are having to fight off more than just predators to survive these days. Now that you know how vital a sea otters’ role in the ecosystem is and why they’re threatened we want to let you in on 12 simple steps that will help to maintain and hopefully increase sea otter populations. Sea otters help keep ecosystems in balance by eating sea urchins in kelp forests and crabs in estuaries. Thanks to the collaborative efforts of individuals, more has been done for Otters by government agencies around the world as well. We’ve teamed up with Adi Barocas in Peru, to understand what’s happening and what we can do to reverse the fortunes of this fantastic, charismatic species. In fact, at 850,000 to one million hairs per square inch, they have the thickest fur of any mammal. Since they must sleep at the surface, they often wrap themselves in giant kelp to keep from floating away. It’s easier, cheaper, and you’ll have a more successful garden. They help kelp forests to flourish by keeping sea urchin numbers under control. Purchase sustainable, recycled, biodegradable goods. Title: Microsoft Word - Document1 Author: Deborah Created Date: 3/28/2009 5:37:32 PM Take shorter showers, turn off water when not in use. The unique opportunity to observe and learn directly from live animals increases public awareness and appreciation of wildlife. They have chemicals that can harm aquatic organisms. Have an area in the garage or shed to save them for proper disposal. Sea otters are also at risk from people who want to watch them! Dedicated staff had to bottle … Unlike some marine mammals, sea otters rely on thick fur instead of blubber to keep warm in the icy waters of the Pacific Ocean. Using a dataset collected over four years, Burt and her colleagues learned that sea otters are not the only predators that have a significant effect on urchins, and thus not the only creature that can help ensure the health and abundance of kelp forests: the less cute but nonetheless impressive sunflower star also plays a major role. Consult a gardening guide or garden store to find out what good native plant choices are for your area. 3) Use paper over plastic and Styrofoam. Archaeologists Could Help Bring Otters Back From the Dead. Sea otters eat 25 percent of their body weight each day in sea urchins, crabs, clams, snails and other invertebrates. Oil Spills. W e can also help sea otters by not throwing our trash into the ocean because that goes into the water that we drink and we can get poisoned. Reduce, reuse, and recycle whenever you can. 4) Use public transportation and carpools. Sea otters can also drink salt water and thus can remain at sea for several days at a time. So yes, we want to save sea otters because they play an essential role in the lives of many animals around them, including humans, but also because no animal deserves to become endangered or extinct due to our impact. …no matter how much rain we get! (Joan Tisdale — Special to the Herald) Luckily, there are ways to paddle responsibly. They eat 40 plus different types of species such as clams, urchins, and snails. In order to help save the sea otters and help their survival we need to raise awareness about them. Another reason that sea otters are susceptible to oil spills is because they often travel in large same-sex rafts (Environment Canada, 2011). Otters are part of the Mustelidae family, which is a family of … Sea otters are born swimmers with long, sleek, streamlined bodies with webbed feet. The longest recorded sea otter dive was 4 minutes, 2 and the deepest recorded sea otter dive was 318 feet (97 m) deep. At night, sea otters may choose either … Come help the sea otters, and give them a fighting chance! We recognize the important ecological roles they play. Their fur actually consists of two layers, an undercoat and longer guard hairs. Older sea otters sometimes get silvery … Use snap traps and/or exclusion instead. Otters have some interesting relatives. Choose a nearby stream, lake or marsh. Sea otters floating in kelp. The sea mammals vanished from Oregon’s coast long ago, but a technique from human archaeology offers a … Come help the sea otters, and give them a fighting chance! Their population levels are decreasing due to high mortality rates among prime-aged adults. …and collecting rainwater in a cistern/rain barrel! Pay attention to how politicians stand on conservation issues like open space and stream and ocean protections. Volunteers work to clean up the waters and to get emergency efforts under way when Otters are in danger due to oil spills or other problems. …and speak out, both locally and nationally. But the fur trade, which began in the 1700s, almost wiped out all of them. Helping to Save Sea Otters and How They Are Helping to Save Us. To preserve body heat sea otters tend to spread out or fold up their feet. This is due to them being nearly hunted to extinction by fur traders in Don’t litter or dump materials into storm drains. …your favorite environmental organizations financially, please do! Hunted to near extinction in the 18th and 19th centuries, sea otters finally gained protections with the signing of the International Fur Seal Treaty of 1911. They are a keystone species, essential to the ecosystem, and they are facing some serious threats! That's why keeping cats indoors (or in a catio!) The mission of the giant otter research team is to understand if and how the demography, behaviour and health of giant otters are affected by the recent changes to their habitat. Instead, use permeable pavers to allow rainwater to sink into the ground and replenish groundwater. Kayakers and beach-goers can get too close and disturb resting or rafting otters, costing them energy. The two are directly related in that sea otters prey on sea urchins, which in turn can help foster kelp beds because urchins feast on kelp. How you can help southern sea otters. Sea otters are members of the weasel or mustelid family. The translocation program allowed the reintroduction of sea otters to San Nicolas Island but also required the removal of sea otters from a “no-otter” management zone. Sea otters were hunted to near extinction during the maritime fur trade of the 1700s and 1800s. (Joan Tisdale — Special to the Herald) Luckily, there are ways to paddle responsibly. Therefore, sea otters are crucial to maintaining kelp forest levels, which provide cover and food for many marine animals. Sea otters help keep ecosystems in balance by eating sea urchins in kelp forests and crabs in estuaries. The same goes for dog waste. There are surprisingly many river otter deaths by car strike. Grow a garden. Sea otters are not just cute animals swimming and splashing carefree offshore. “For sea otters to succeed, it’s definitely a challenge. In the 1900s, seas otters numbers were down in the 1000s-2000s because of the ongoing fur trade. Despite perils such as oil spills and high-speed ferries, the bay has plenty of safe spots for this charismatic threatened species SeaWorld parks rescue and rehabilitate orphaned, ill, and injured otters. People can help sea otters by decreasing the amount of pollutants we disperse into their natural habitats. If one raft of 200 males were to be caught in an oil spill, this would greatly reduce the fertility of the sea otter population moving forward, and likely have significant population trauma many years into the future (Environment Canada, 2011).