Their measurements vary depending on the sex. After being exterminated in southern British Columbia due to overhunting, they have been reintroduced to the outskirts of Vancouver Island and the Olympic Peninsula. The sea otters don´t catch the fish with their mouth, but with their front limbs. Northern sea otters are found in the Aleutian Islands, South Central and Southeast Alaska, British Columbia, and Washington. A similar ecological dance plays out in bays and sloughs, where otters eat various types of crabs, which eat sea slugs. Their scientific name is Emhydra Lutris Nereis Merriam and they are located on the coasts of Central California. They often rest in coastal kelp forests, draping the kelp over their bodies to keep from drifting away. Defenders’ California, Northwest and Alaska programs have united to strengthen our sea otter programs through awareness and public engagement. How sea otters contribute to this complex ecosystem. Humans are the biggest threat to sea otter populations. The mating only lasts between 15 and 30 minutes, which tend to be very vigorous and intense for both women and men. Males typically weigh about 45 kg, and reach 150 cm in length. Sea Otter Conservation. 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. Newsom Approves Two Critical Environmental Protection Bills, A New Chance to Protect Sea Otters Brings Andy to Defenders. A group or raft of sea otters off the west coast of Vancouver Island, BC, Canada. When courting, males tend to swim upside down, moving faster than normal. They usually occupy an area of one kilometer-long territory and remain in it for a whole year. Be sea otter savvy by viewing sea otters from a safe distance and watching out for otters crossing roads. The tail is short and sto… Sea otters are streamlined marine mammals, which look like a larger, fluffier, version of their freshwater cousins, river otters. This phase usually lasts between two and three months. The outer one is hair, and is long and waterproof, so it helps the bottom layer to stay dry, as well as insulates the cold water completely and limits heat loss. It spends its days floating and foraging among kelp forests, along the outer coves and bays. Sea otters are considered a keystone species because of this effect. There are three known subspecies of sea otters, which differ only by their body´s size and some other individual characteristics of  their teeth  and skulls. They live mainly in coastal waters that have a depth of fifteen to twenty meters. Today, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law Assembly Bill (AB) 1788, the California Ecosystems Protection Act of 2020 and earlier this week approved the California Sea Otter Voluntary Tax Contribution Fund (Senate Bill (SB) 587). Two species are marine, with the others living predominantly in fresh water. There are 13 known species of Otters left in the world with at least one that was removed from the list... Sea Otter According to several statistics in 2004 there were about 3,000 animals in this area. Sea otters also have a very important role for our planet. This distinction goes to the sea otter. The sea otters were scientifically described for the first time by the German zoologist Georg Steller (March 10, 1709-Tiumén, November 14, 1746)) in field notes in the year 1751. It is common for them to suffer deterioration in their teeth when they are in their habitats, which is thought to shorten their lives. Sea otters breed throughout the year, but in Alaska most pups are born in the late spring. Sea Otters have dense and soft fur that is their sole protection from the cold; it varies between rust, dark brown and black in colour. During the reproduction cycle, the females are nicknamed Rudolph because after mating the female’s nose is a bloody red. The ESA developed a law  in 1973 to protect endangered and threatened American species, which requires recording the species in danger of extinction as well as making plans for their recovery. Once the kelp dies it floats up and provides the sea otter with a source of food. During mating, the male tightens his teeth against the female’s nose and also wraps her chest with his forepaws to cling to her. In these areas polluting actions such as the dumping of oil residues are prohibited. This allows other marine, and even terrestrial animals, to have abundant amounts of prey. The fund pays for important scientific research, public education and law enforcement that benefits sea otters. Occasionally, the female can give birth to twins, but the female only cares for one of the puppies and the other usually dies. Sea Cucumbers: Characteristics, reproduction, habitats and more. As top predators, sea otters are critical to maintaining the balance of nearshore ecosystems, such as kelp forests, embayments and estuaries. Adult males weight between 22 and 45 kilograms and measure from 1.2 to 1.5 meters. It is said that the sea otter is sociable and playful although they spend most of their time alone. Their inner cover is shorter, and has the property of trapping air to form an insulating layer against cold water since they don´t  have insulating fat. A few years later, the Swedish botanist Carlos Linnaeus (May 23, 1707-January 10, 1778) also described them in his work Systema Naturae which was written in 1758. Otters range in size from 3 kg (6.6 pounds) in the Asian small-clawed otter ( Aonyx cinereus, formerly Amblonyx cinereus) to 26 kg (57 pounds) in the giant otter ( Pteronura brasiliensis) and 45 kg (99 pounds) in the sea otter ( Enhydra lutris ). In this sense, the efforts to introduce them again in the coasts of Oregon have not been successful. The healthy forests of algae absorb around 43 billion kg of carbon dioxide to carry out their process of photosynthesis, which is a factor that has become essential to ensure the existence of the planet earth. In the first list we have african clawless otter and this species of sea otter is … 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. A sign that biodiversity is essential. Sea otters have the thickest fur of any mammal. They have a kind of pocket that forms with loose skin extended through their thorax, in which they keep their food while they are submerged and then come out to the surface and feed as they float on their backs. The sea slugs eat algae that lives on eel grass. Otters (both sea and river otters) play a notable role in the animal food chain. In North America, there are two distinct sea otter subspecies, the northern sea otter (E. l. kenyoni) and the southern sea otter (E. l. nereis). The Marine otter lack of a thick skin of fat, unlike other marine mammals. When found near a female, the male tries to hug her or sniff her body. Their scientific name is, Emhydra Lutris kenyoni. If you live in California, donate to the California Sea Otter Fund when you file your taxes. It is also protected under California state law. Sea otters eat urchins, abalone, mussels, clams, crabs, snails and about 40 other marine species. The Northern Pacific Ocean is the primary location where you will find the Sea Otter. Reintroducing the sea otters has enabled the kelp ecosystem to be restored. Finally, we are working with state and federal agencies and other groups to maintain, increase and broaden the current protections for sea otters so they can expand their population along more of California’s coastal waters. Leopard Seals: Characteristics, reproduction, habitat and more. These creatures are large and have a wide skull with short nasal bones. Though it is the largest, it isn’t the heaviest. Their current scientific name Emhydra Lutris was given in 1922, and means otter in the water. As for males, they reach sexual maturity when they are between 5-7 years of age. After four months, they follow the female on night trips for food. Sea otters are one of the few mammals, other than primates, known to use tools. This became necessary when researchers discovered that a protozoal parasite from flushed cat feces, Toxoplasma gondii, could pass through wastewater treatment facilities and harm sea otters. All sea otters are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and those in California and Southwest Alaska are listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act. Sea otters are often contaminated with toxic pollutants and disease-causing parasites as a result of runoff in coastal waters. Like other members of this family, they have very thick fur. 97% of our funds go towards program and support services, with only 3% going towards fundraising. The ESA creates rules on how to treat existing populations of endangered and threatened animals, and prohibits buying, selling or possessing any part of species or object made of them. (41 kilograms).The smallest otter is the Asian small-clawed otter, which grows up to 2.9 fee… sea otters affect sea urchins and kelp forests over an extended period of time. The Sea Otter is one of the smallest marine mammals. The struggles between sea otters are not frequent and they have a varied vocal behavior. We supported a bill to phase out the use of drift gillnets in California waters to protect sea otters and many other marine species. 1-800-385-9712. They eat about 25% of their weight in food each day due to their accelerated metabolism. After childbirth, the female observes her puppy and prepares his fur on her chest during the first hours. Decorating Aquariums : The best algae to decorate domestic aquariums…. They are also called California Sea Otters. When the sea otters of the North American west coast were hunted commercially for their fur, their numbers fell to such low levels – fewer than 1000 in the north Pacific ocean – that they were unable to control the sea urchin population. It is believed that there are around 150,000 and 300,000 specimens along the North Pacific from northern Japan to Baja California in Mexico. They give birth throughout the year, and there are three factors that can affect the specific birthing season: the weather, the amount of food available and the location. Female sea otters reach sexual maturity at 2–5 years of age. Males become sexually mature at 4–6 years of age. They depend exclusively on their dense fur to protect themselves from the cold. The oceans’ pollution, affects deeply the sea otters’, since endangers their food sources, and directly harms them. It is distributed from the Kuril Islands located in Japan, to the Commander islands of the in the Western Pacific. California’s southern sea otter has been listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act since 1977. For a limited time, every dollar you donate will be matched 2-for-1 by our Board of Directors and President’s Circle. Koi fish: Characteristics, history, types and more…. Mating Season: Throughout the year Oil spills from offshore drilling or shipping are a huge threat to sea otter populations. On the other hand the adult females usually weigh between 14 and 33 kilograms, and their length varies from 1 to 1.4 meters. Tips for spotting a sea otter The females commonly whisper when they are happy, while the males groan when they are exalted. But if sea otters are abundant, they eat sea urchins and keep the urchin population in check, which allows kelp to flourish. When they are scared or sad they can whistle, hiss or in extreme situations scream. They have two inferior incisors, which is a curious trait because they are the only carnivores that do not have three. Sea otters must eat approximately 25% of their weight in food each day to support their high metabolism. These beautiful species have 150,000 hairy filaments per square centimeter in their skin, which is the highest concentration in any mammal species. Sea Otter & Kelp The sea otter and kelp also have a mutualistic relationship. Sea otters are a keystone species, meaning their role in their environment has a greater effect than other species. The fifth toe of each leg is longer, which allows them to swim more easily, but hinders their movement on land. This, in turn, provides shelter for sea otter pups and a variety of other marine life, including fish. They can also move across the surface, but very clumsily. In addition, agrees to make efforts to recover the species, which means to create and develop a plan to recover them at healthy population levels. In 2006, Defenders of Wildlife worked with California lawmakers on legislation that established the California Sea Otter Fund, a voluntary contribution option on the state tax forms. Sea otters protect kelp forests from damage by sea urchins. Currently there are areas where their population is stable in countries such as Russia, Alaska, British Columbia, Washington and California. Otter Species Otter Species We also worked to end to the translocation program, which moved sea otters to San Nicolas Island, and the associated No-Otter Zone. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); It is time to learn all what you ever wanted about these beautiful and lovely creatures called sea otters. Comment The algae forests of such habitats tend to disappear instantaneously as they are devoured by sea urchins. The longest-lived specimen, of which there are records, was a female in the Seattle Aquarium, which died having 28 years of life. The females are slightly smaller. While sea otters are vulnerable to natural environmental changes, their populations are significantly impacted by several human factors as well. Their beautiful fur is a main target for many hunters. They regularly shed snails attached to the algae and can dig in mud for clams. Their mating system is polygamous and they show a highly significant sexual dimorphism. These otters inhabit Alaska and the western Pacific coast, from the Aleutian Islands to British Columbia, northern Oregon and Washington. Their legs are flat, long and wide, and have retracted claws similar to that of a cat, which allows them to take their prey firmly. Gov. Next, sea otters go through a phase called delay in implantation and development is suspended for several months or days. Large-scale hunting, part of the Maritime Fur Trade, which would eventually kill approximately one million sea otters, began in the 18th century when hunters and traders began to arrive from all over the world to meet foreign demand for otter pelts, which were one of the world's most valua… In 1989 an independent colony was discovered on the coast of British Columbia, which had about 300 individuals who according to some investigators could be transported otters who survived the fur trade. Groups of males are more numerous than those composed of females. Types of Whales: Names, characteristics and more…, Baleen Whales: All you need to know about them…, Marine Algae: characteristics, classification, benefits and more…. There are 13 species of otters, in seven genera, according to Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS). The coral-like reefs, formed by the red alga Clathromorphum neostriatum, have started to disappear due to sea urchins. 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. In fact, at 850,000 to one million hairs per square inch, they have the thickest fur of any mammal. Sea otters give birth to their young in the water and very rarely give birth on earth. The females have two breasts in the abdomen and their tails are very short slightly flattened and muscular. To protect sea otters that were crossing roads in Moss Landing, CA, Defenders helped make the case for placing crossing signs and establishing slow speed zones, and we worked with local sea otter protection organizations to install wildlife monitoring cameras. 1130 17th Street NW They can walk but in a somewhat clumsy way, usually moving with small jumps. 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