The threat to the southern sea otter posed by oil spills prompted its listing as a threatened species in 1977. Marine otters are rare and are protected under Peruvian, Chilean, and Argentine law. BBC. Historically, sea otters numbered in the hundreds of thousands in the North Pacific Ocean. Why are sea otters endangered ? It is sometimes called the sea cat. For example, sea otters sometimes get caught in fishing nets and traps. Sea otters are a keystone species, meaning their role in their environment has a greater effect than other species. ScienceDaily. Sea otters have been hunted for their fur for hundreds of years. Alaska Department of Fish and Game, If you have any suggestion or comment or anything you want to share at all, feel free to reach out by emailing at: Poaching is still a problem, but one of unknown magnitude. Sea otters have historically been hunted for their pelts. Are Mice Blind? The latter threat to these animals dates back to the 19th century when they were hunted to near extinction for their fur. There are three sub-species of sea otters: Southern sea otters, Northern, and the Russian. This report explains why these three sub-species and sea otters as a whole have depleted in number in the past, and what it is that's causing them to still be in danger today. Marine mammal species and populations are listed as endangered or threatened under the ESA. Sea otters once numbered in the hundreds of thousands, but fur traders hunted them in large numbers and, consequently, reduced their population size. Now only single animals are recorded off Japan and the Asian population is declining. Fish and Wildlife Service, sea otters have been protected under the Endangered Species Act since 1977. Classed as “Endangered”. Tinker, M. Tim, and Brian B. Hartfield. The 12 Most Endangered Marine Mammals (Part 2) The largest of the animals aren’t the only ones fighting for survival. The MMPA protects all marine mammal species; many of which are listed as depleted. Enhydra lutris. and are the smallest marine mammal in North America. The Sea Otter is one of the smallest endangered ocean species. These species are protected in the United States under the Endangered Species Act. When there are oil spills, the oil may get in the sea otter's fur and they have trouble keeping warm. Sea otters, Enhydra lutris (Linnaeus, 1758), are the largest member of the Family Mustelidae (70 species of river otters, skunks, weasels, badgers, etc.) When these otters were found wheezing and struggling with seizures on beaches in Homer, Alaska, researchers were surprised. Sea Otters play a vital role in our ecosystem by feeding on sea urchins which help keep kelp forests thriving. Where Do Raccoons Sleep? – Lifespan, How Long Do Snow Leopards Live? The tail comprises less than a third of the body length. – Malayan Tiger Diet & Eating Habits, What Do Sumatran Tigers Eat? Their habitats range from Canada, Russia, Japan, California and Washington, but the majority of all wild sea otters are found in Alaskan waters. Mating occurs in December until January. Are Mice Dangerous? How Does the 25th Amendment Work — and When Should It Be Enacted? Marine otters were listed under CITESAppendix I in 1976, and are listed as e… Massive marine die-off in Russia could threaten endangered sea otters, other vulnerable species . The sea otter is one of the smallest marine mammal species, but it is the heaviest mustelid. African clawless otter. In addition, some coastal land owned of the Company Proabonos S.A. serves as haven for marine otters in Peru. The Sea Otter was hunted to near extinction in the 19th century. Find out more. These include: the Eastern Stock of the Steller sea lion, Guadalupe fur seals, and the California sea otters. European otter. “California Sea Otter (Enhydra lutris nereis) Census Results, Spring 2017”. The Smooth-coated Otter (Lutrogale perspicillata) is the largest otter in Southeast Asia, and is named after its velvety smooth coat. The Sea Otter was hunted to near extinction in the 19th century. Under the same act, the harvesting of northern sea otters is now allowed only for the upkeep of the local people in Alaska and it is kept under strict observation by the U.S. Unfortunately, their fur also nearly led to this species’ demise. Top Answer. Currently, there are only 3,000 sea otters left in the wild, making them heavily endangered. As a result the numbers of them are quite low. They also have a reduced population size, which puts them in danger of becoming extinct. For southern sea otters to be considered for delisting under the Endangered Species Act, the population index would have to exceed 3,090 for three consecutive years, according to the Southern Sea Otter Recovery Plan. Marine otters live on the west coast of South America. They are regarded as an endangered species by international regulations, and without additional protection, they may become extinct in the near future. Why Sea Otters are Endangered, and How You Can Help Sea otters are the smallest species of marine mammal, and one of the most vulnerable endangered species in North America. Some marine mammals may also be listed as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act, providing them protection under both laws. “California Today: The Plight of the Sea Otter”. The International Fur Seal Treaty of 1911, the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act of 1977 helped stop the sea otter population from dwindling. The trade was banned in 1910, with signing of the treaty between America, Japan, Russia and Great Britain. Sea Otter Viewing Tips Here are some viewing tips to help you enjoy watching sea otters and other marine wildlife in a safe and responsible way. The marine otter lives off the coast of South America. The trade was banned in 1910, with signing of the treaty between America, Japan, Russia and Great Britain. Moreover, the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA) is responsible for the protection of sea otters in California and southwest Alaska. Also fishermen may take their food. Reduced range and population size, vulnerability to oil spills, and oil spill risk from coastal tanker traffic were the primary reasons for listing. Because of the activity in the sea will never ends because many people rely their life on it … 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. In the past, they were extensively hunted both for their fur and due to perceived competition with fisheries. For that reason, they were hunted extensively and their rich pelt was used in fur trade. Ghost fishing threatens endangered river dolphins, critically endangered turtles, otters. Females are slightly smaller, weighing 14-33 kg and measuring 1-1.4 m in length. Unlike most marine mammals that rely on a thick layer of blubber to insulate them from cold ocean waters, marine otters rely on their extremely thick fur. Kelp also gets harvested, and that is a sea otter's habitat. Excessive hunting reduced the numbers of marine otters significantly and now the species is endangered (highly vulnerable to extinction). Endangered Species: The marine otter Image 1. Today the species is protected under the Endangered Species Act & Marine Mammal Protection Act. Ghost fishing threatens endangered river dolphins, critically endangered turtles, otters. As a result, when the sea otter begins grooming itself through scrubbing away its coat, it may inhale oil which may, in turn, cause damage to its lungs or kidneys leading to death. Asked by Wiki User. They eat many of the same types of shellfish that humans like to eat, such as sea urchins, lobsters and crabs. It is a mammal, often spotted in our mangroves, mudflats and coastal areas, where it forages for clams, fish, and other small creatures. Read More: How Many Sea Otters are Left in the World? Coles, Jeremy. The Marine Mammal Center has worked extensively with species that are considered to be endangered or threatened, such as the southern sea otter, Hawaiian monk seal and Guadalupe fur seal. In addition to oil spills, sea otters also face other human threats. Currently the southern sea otter population is estimated at just above 3,000 animals. They have the densest fur in the animal kingdom. Hunting extirpated them from most of Argentina and the Falkland Islands. Worldwide, numbers have recovered slowly but are still far below the original population numbers. University of Exeter. The trade of sea otters was continued until the animals were virtually wiped out. Answer. The Southern Sea Otter & Southwest Stock of Northern Sea Otters in Alaska are both listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act. Photo from Wikimedia Commons. – Snow Leopard Lifespan, What Do Snow Leopards Eat? Another endangered sea otter species is known as the european otter, also known as eurasian river otter, common otter, and old world otter. Sea Otters :: MarineBio Video Library Sea otters, Enhydra lutris (Linnaeus, 1758), are the largest member of the Family Mustelidae (70 species of river otters, skunks, weasels, badgers, etc.) Right now, Murray contends, that mine is looking pretty dark. Today, there are estimated to be just over 106,000 in existence worldwide, with fewer than 3,000 living in California. 13 14 15. Why are Sea Otters Endangered? California Sea Otter. Sea Otter Facts. These animals are conserved through the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 (MMPA) in the United States. The marine otter seems to prefer solitary living but has sometimes been seen in groups of three or more. Where Do Raccoons Live? When Do Raccoons Have Babies? Sea otters are a keystone species, meaning their role in their environment has a greater effect than other species. Massive marine die-off in Russia could threaten endangered sea otters, other vulnerable species Alec Luhn 10/16/2020 Historic US Covid vaccine campaign launches with convoy of trucks Sea otters are not the only species harmed by ocean pollution, of course, but they are easier than most to study. Sea otters play a significant role in their local environments, and a much greater ecosystem role th… In addition, the populations of seals and sea lions and underwater ‘forests’ of kelp are disappearing. (Enhydra lutris kenyoni). The giant otter can grow to more than 6 feet (2 meters) long and 70 pounds (32 kg), nearly twice as large as its American counterparts. The Exxon Valdez oil spill of 24 March 1989 killed thousands of sea otters and the lingering oil in the area continues to affect the population. The pollution in the air is another reason why. Males weigh 22-45 kg and are 1.2-1.5 m in length. Southern sea otters, also known as California sea otters, live in the waters along the central California coastline. An extremely polluted water body usually results in the slow death of the species inhabiting it. Besides, during 70s and 80s, a lot of California sea otters were drowned due to their entanglement in fishing gear like trammel and gill nets. Wiki User Answered . They are also protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act. The female gives birth to two to five pups after a gestation period of 60 to 120 days. The sea otter is classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources as one of the endangered species within the marine ecosystem. Sea otters are listed as an endangered species because they are vulnerable to oil spills from ships and coastal tanker traffic. The sea otter is the smallest marine mammal and the largest member of the weasel family. This species of sea otter is actually native to the Eurasia. The two states that took the lead in the trade of sea otters were Spain and Russia. The sea otter (Enhydra lutris) is the only truly marine otter found in Asia and used to be found on the coast of Japan. The Marine Otter lives at its northern limit and has sporadic populations along the coast.The marine otter is protected in Peru only within the Reserva Nacional de Paracas, on the central coast. Fact Check: Is the COVID-19 Vaccine Safe? Its face is wide and has whiskers. email2ubaid@gmail.com, Co-author and co-founder of animalsanswers.com. & Burdin, A. If the otter is caught at a young age, it is easy to tame and teach to fish and bring it to the owner. Why is the sea otter endangered? – White Tiger Lifespan, Where Do White Tigers Come From? Sea otters have a profound impact on the coastal habitats which is why they are rightly known as keystone species. If you come across a sea otter you think is sick, injured or abandoned, please give it space and call The Marine Mammal Center’s stranding hotline at (415) 289-7325. Exactly, that would be terrible. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T7750A21939518. Why Are Sea Otters Endangered? The … Aug 18, 2020. (2020, November 25). Excessive hunting reduced the numbers of marine otters significantly and now the species is endangered (highly vulnerable to extinction). Otters Conservation Status. Almost 60,000 sea otters were killed by the Americans for the sake of getting fur during the three-year period (1804 – 1807) while another 50,000 furs were taken between 1808 and 1812. 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