Archive for the ‘sea otter’ Category

Pulling the Plug on the “No Otter Zone”

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

In the 1980s, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) began a grand experiment called the “Sea Otter Management Zone.” The zone, which extended from Point Conception south to the US-Mexico border, was to be kept free of sea otters. Any sea otters found in the area were captured and “translocated” to San Nicholas Island, where FWS administrators hoped they would stay, establish a breeding colony relatively safe from oil spills, and refrain from getting into conflicts with the recreational and commercial shellfish harvesters operating in Southern California’s waters.

After decades of struggling to make this expensive and ineffective policy work, the FWS is finally proposing the end of the sea otter management project. The FWS concludes that the most effective sea otter management strategy will be to allow the sea otter population to expand naturally, including into the waters where sea otters were for decades prohibited. Read all about it, along with the reasons for the project’s establishment and the history of the project, in their latest management plan.

Taking Action to Help Sea Otters

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

Editor’s Note: Blog posts in September 2011 highlight online resources to help you learn more about sea otters, the subject of our most recent newsletter’s Creature Feature.

The decline of the sea otter population is worrisome, but sea otter supporters are working hard to keep research funding in place and encourage legislators to take actions that improve the probability of sea otters continuing on the road to recovery. Check the sites of these two advocacy groups for more information:

Friends of the Sea Otter: http://www.seaotters.org/

Defenders of Wildlife: http://www.defenders.org/wildlife_and_habitat/wildlife/sea_otter.php

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Monterey Bay Aquarium is Sea Otter Central!

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

Editor’s Note: Blog posts in September 2011 highlight online resources to help you learn more about sea otters, the subject of our most recent newsletter’s Creature Feature.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium is a great place to get up close and personal with a sea otter–visitors are separated from the resident otters by just a very thick pane of plexiglass! Even if you can’t get there in person, the aquarium’s web site offers some inspiring and educational information about their star inhabitants at http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/cr/sorac.aspx