(Photo courtesy of Matt Lichtenstein) Crabbers and dive fishermen returned to Alaska’s Board of Fish this month seeking changes to commercial fishing regulations in Southeast Alaska for crab and other shellfish impacted by a growing population of sea otters in the region. California Sea Otter (Enhydra lutris nereis) Census Results, Spring 2019 By Brian B. Hatfield, Julie L. Yee, Michael C. Kenner, and Joseph A. Tomoleoni Abstract The 2019 census of southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis), also known as California sea otters, was conducted from early May to early July along the mainland coast of The US supreme court declines a petition to reconsider a ruling by the ninth circuit court of appeal to reinstate a no otter zone that stretched from Point Conception south to the Mexican border. 23+iii pp. According to data just released by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the three-year average population index this year dropped to 2,962, which is 166 sea otters fewer than the 2018 survey. "More than any other nonhuman species, it was the sea otter that defined the world's largest oceanscape prior to the California gold rush. Behavior. The sea otter population in Morro Bay is healthy even as the Central Coast has seen more otter deaths from shark bites. This weekend (September 29-30 2018), the Seattle Aquarium will be hosting a few events where you can learn from experts about sea otters and even see an enrichment demonstration! On the cover: photo of Otter with sea urchins by Neil Fisher, otter group by Roy Toft; background by Joe Rocchio. The scientists found that as the sea otter population more than doubled from 1980 to 2018, so did the size of the Dungeness crab catch per fishing … Sato, C. L. 2018. Published online 2018 May 17. and last updated 2018-09-26 22:38:16-04. This work was supported in part by personalized and endangered species license plates. Southeast fishermen seek relief from expanding sea otter population January 15, 2018 by Joe Viechnicki, KFSK-Petersburg Sea otters raft up in the inside waters of Southeast Alaska in June 2014. This report should be cited as Sato, C. L. 2018. Sea otters raft up in the inside waters of Southeast Alaska in June 2014. Sea Otters 10.31.2018; Otters win again. Commission Letters. (Photo by patrickmoody / Flickr) Kayla Desroches/KMXT. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Olympia, Washington. Today’s otters are descended from about 400 animals (from the Aleutians) reintroduced to the region in the 1960’s. SANTA CRUZ, Calif.— Southern sea otter numbers have declined off the coast of California since their most recent high in 2016. ... Should the northern and southern sea otter populations eventually merge, it would increase the genetic diversity of the CA population, potentially improving health and increasing adaptive potential. The 5-year average trend in … Southern sea otter distribution Current extent of established range 1 extralimital sea otter Area of map A OREGON NEVADA O N Figure 1. SANTA CRUZ, Calif.— Southern sea otter numbers have declined off the coast of California since peaking in 2016, but the average population count remains above 3,090 for the third consecutive year. 2018 Dec; 11(10): 1779–1790. These threats have grown, even though from 2016 to 2018, the average population size reached a level that could have triggered a review for possible removal of the species from the ESA list. Surface kelp canopies at the time of survey at San Nicolas Island were estimated to be below normal near shore off the western end of the island and about normal elsewhere. The northern range was not calculated because of limitations in survey resources required to survey areas north of the range from the previous year (2018); however, the southern range expanded slightly by 0.5 kilometer, where a negligible trend in sea otter counts (0.55 percent growth per year) corresponded to the lack of meaningful population range expansion at the southern periphery. The population decline likely began in the mid-1980s and declined at a rate of 17.5%/year in the 1990s. The 3-year average of combined counts from the mainland range and San Nicolas Island was 3,128, a decrease of 58 sea otters from the previous year. Evol Appl. The 2018 census of southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis) was conducted from late April to mid-May along the mainland coast of central California and in April at San Nicolas Island in southern California. 2018 May 17;11(10):1779-1790. doi: 10.1111/eva.12642. Sea Otter Awareness Week is this Sept. 23-29. Kayla Desroches March 16, 2018 News, Newsflash 144 Views. According to the U.S. Population. Exhibit 2: Southern Sea Otter Population Trends and Range Sea otters spend much of their lives in the water and can dive up to 330 feet when foraging for food, though most dives are much shallower. The 2018 census of southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis) was conducted from late April to mid-May along the mainland coast of central California and in April at San Nicolas Island in southern California. 23+iii pp. State leaders are seeking leeway in the federal protection of sea otters in order to manage the predation of shellfish, but at least one Alaska Native group thinks the sea otter population should remain a federal concern. The southern sea otter population, which once numbered about 16,000 animals, is hovering around 3,000 today. Posted by Joe Viechnicki | Jan 15, 2018. Lower urchin density reduces grazing pressure on kelps, resulting in a more diverse nearshore ecosystem (Estes and Duggins 1995). In an interview with Anchorage Daily News in 2018, Jim Estes, an ecology professor and otter expert at the University of California, Santa Cruz said about the increasing population of sea otters in Southeast Alaska, “I think what we’re headed toward is a return to normality.” He was referring to returning to an ecosystem that includes sea otters. Tuesday, May 8, 2018. My aims for this analysis were to investigate any changes that occurred in the kelp forest ecosystem surrounding San Nicolas island during the length of the sea otter translocation program. Sea otters in Alaska. Adult sea otters typically weigh between 14 and 45 kg (31 and 99 lb), making them the heaviest members of the weasel family, but among the smallest marine mammals. by USFWS | Sep 25, 2018 | sea otters. coastal areas and impede the recovery of critical sea otter populations. The minimal population estimate was 8,742 sea otters in 2000. The 3-year average of combined counts from the mainland range and San Nicolas Island was 3,128, a decrease of 58 sea otters from the previous year. Therefore, it seems unlikely to have an impact on Dungeness crab abundance in the near term. For example, when sea otters are present in rocky habitats, they eat sea urchins and urchin density decreases as a result. Survey viewing conditions were very good (View Score = 3.0). The population declined to a uniformly low density in the archipelago, suggesting a common and geographically widespread cause. Sea otter numbers have declined in southwestern Alaska over the past 20 years. Established in 1964, the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species has evolved to become the world’s most comprehensive information source on the global conservation status of animal, fungi and plant species. On the cover: photo of Otter with sea urchins by Neil Fisher, otter group by Roy Toft; background by Joe Rocchio. survey of the sea otter population at San Nicolas Island was completed earlier (April 15–18). Commission Reports and Publications. Once containing more than half of the world’s sea otters, this population segment, which ranges from Kodiak Island through the western Aleutian Islands, has undergone an overall population decline of at least 55–67 percent since the mid-1980s. More information: Roderick B. Gagne et al, Measures of effective population size in sea otters reveal special considerations for wide-ranging species, Evolutionary Applications (2018). The sea otter (Enhydra lutris) was nearly driven to extinction on the Pacific Coast in the 19th century due to intensive commercial hunting and the maritime fur trade. Sea Otter Events and Resources. Despite successful reintroduction efforts elsewhere in North America, the Oregon sea otter population remains locally extirpated and listed as endangered. The fur trade wiped out the Southeast sea otter population by the early 20th century. Letter Date Letter Description; June 13, 2016: Letter to FWS regarding an incidental take authorization for oil and gas … To learn more, click here to go to their site. eCollection 2018 Dec. 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. The southern sea otter population has plateaued in recent years (Tinker and Hatfield, 2018) and natural range expansion is currently restricted by the distribution of kelp forests due to increased predation on otters in areas with low kelp cover (Moxley et al., 2019; Nicholson et al., 2018). (6) Assessing the socioeconomic costs and benefits of sea otter range expansion to anticipate and mitigate conflicts: The effects of sea otters on shellfish fisheries are well documented, but fine-scale information on sea otter distribution, population growth and future expansion is needed to support the adaptation of communities affected by expanding sea otter populations. That’s how the director of the Monterey Otter Project describes it. Periodic Status Review for the Sea Otter in Washington. The Commission expects to review updated stock assessment reports for the three northern sea otter stocks in 2018. They often rest in coastal kelp forests, draping the kelp over their bodies to keep from drifting away. Unlike most marine mammals, the sea otter's primary form of … In 2005, the U.S. Periodic Status Review for the Sea Otter in Washington. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Olympia, Washington. 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