The sea floor in these areas is generally less than 300 feet deep, allowing sea otters to dive down and find food on the bottom. Range and Habitat. Sea otters use rocks as hammers to break into the sea urchins and clams they eat. The recovery plan describes the status of the otter, its history, and a number of actions the Service believes will allow for the delisting of the otter. RELATED ISSUES Oceans Golden State Biodiversity Initiative The Endangered Species Act. The goals of the sea otter recovery plan are: 1) to outline strategies that will assure a self-sustaining sea otter population in Washington through the foreseeable future, and 2) to manage the Washington sea otter stock in a manner consistent with the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act, state and federal laws, and court rulings. We, the U.S. Modern efforts in sea otter conservation began in the early 20th century, when the sea otter was nearly extinct due to large-scale commercial hunting. By the early 20th century, northern sea otters were nearly extirpated from Alaska as a result of overharvest (Muto et al. 62,562 Oct. 12, 2010), are submitted on behalf of Friends of the Sea Otter, Defenders of Wildlife, Oceans Public Trust Initiative, a project of Earth Island Institute’s International Marine Mammal Project, and the Monterey Bay … The U.S. Southwest Alaska distinct population segment of the northern sea otter (Enhydra lutris kenyoni) recovery plan. He counsels clients on matters dealing with the Federal and State Endangered Species ... Nossaman’s Endangered Species Law & Policy blog focuses on news, events, and policies affecting endangered species issues in California and throughout the United States. Population. These comments on the U.S. NATURAL HISTORY. The recovery plan for the Southwest stock under U.S Fish and Wildlife Service aims to maintain sustainable and ecologically functional populations and reduce threats to decline. However, in southwest Alaska, sea otters have experienced a sharp population decline in the last 20 years. RANGE: Off the coasts of California, Washington, Canada, Alaska, Russia, and Japan. The FWS estimated southern sea otter abundance in 2016 at 3,272 individuals, a record high since 1972. 1.3.6 Recovery Plan or Outline. Our recovery plan describes the status, current management, recovery objectives and criteria, and specific actions … Sea otter numbers have declined in southwestern Alaska over the past 20 years. Scientists are monitoring and studying the northern sea otter population and its habitat to help the species recover, including ongoing research on the shifts in predation by killer whales, the highest priority threat. Earlier this month, the U.S. The Oregon Coast Aquarium is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization located in Newport, on the beautiful Oregon Coast. Details Purpose: Grants for research, science, protection, or programs related to the Federal Sea Otter Recovery Plan or improving the nearshore ocean ecosystem, including activities to reduce sea otter mortality and for public outreach activities that encourage taxpayers to make contributions by voluntary checkoff on a tax return to the California Sea Otter Fund. 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. Today, Friends of the Sea Otter (FSO) released the report, Roadmap: Recovery of the Southern Sea Otter. Fish & Wildlife Service (Service) announced (pdf) the availability of its recovery plan (pdf) for the threatened southwest Alaska Distinct Population Segment of the northern sea otter (Enhydra lutris kenyoni). Date issued: August 2013 . Recovery Plan Scientists are monitoring and studying the northern sea otter population and its habitat to help the species recover, including ongoing research on the shifts in predation by killer whales, the highest priority threat. Fish and Wildlife Service released this plan in 2013. Ben Rubin assists developers, public agencies, landowners, and corporate clients on a variety of complex land use and environmental matters. Summing up, a recovery plan for the Southern Sea Otter is important for public opinion since it is an emblematic and charismatic species, very significant as an economic and touristic source for the area (in part because sea otters can be seen from the shore). A recovery team of 15 members was established in 2006 to create and implement the Northern Sea Otter Recovery Plan. The point of the recovery plan, if completed, is to reclassify the species to a less critical status. Fish & Wildlife Service (Service) announced (pdf) the availability of its recovery plan (pdf) for the threatened southwest Alaska Distinct Population Segment of the northern sea otter (Enhydra lutris kenyoni). The Endangered Species Act helps protect parks. Sea otters were hunted for their fur in the 18th and 19th century, nearly driving the species to extinction. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the availability of our draft recovery plan for the southwest Alaska Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of the northern sea otter (Enydra lutris kenyoni), listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). 2019). Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Draft Recovery Plan for the Southwest Alaska Distinct Population Segment of the Northern Sea Otter, 75 Fed. Our recovery plan describes the status, current management, recovery objectives and criteria, and specific actions needed to enable us to delist the southwest Alaska DPS of the northern sea otter. [U.S. Southwest Alaska distinct population segment of the northern sea otter Notes Title from title screen (viewed on Aug. 27, 204). Northern Sea Otter: Availability of Recovery Plan Each affected NPS area has an approved fire manage- ment plan (FMP) and fuels management plan. Our mission is to create unique and engaging experiences that connect you to the Oregon coast and inspire ocean conservation. In recent years, new threats to the species have emerged, including shark attacks, coastal pollution, disease and climate change. In 2001, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) designated the Aleutian Islands population of northern sea otter as a candidate species for listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Northern sea otters are generally found in shallow waters within about a mile of the shore. The recovery plan specifies that the species should be considered for delisting when the average population level over a three-year period exceeds 3,090 animals. Since 1977 the southern sea otter has been protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and other laws. While human activities, including oil spills, have had some impact, an increase in predation by killer whales seems to be the main cause. Get this from a library! Recovery Plan for Tidal Marsh Ecosystems of Northern and Central California. The recovery plan describes the status of the otter, its history, and a number of actions the Service believes will allow for the delisting of the otter. Includes bibliographical references. Subject headings Sea otter--Alaska. Surveys of sea otters in the 1970s and 1980s indicated a healthy and expanding population in most of Alaska, including Prince William Sound. The sea otter is one of the smallest marine mammals, but one of the largest members of the family Mustelidae, a group that includes skunks and weasels among others. Marine Mammals Management,;] Air bubbles groomed into their fur serve as insulation in cold water. Northern sea otter exploitation impacted nearshore community structure through the increase of epibenthic invertebrates, which have since been exploited by fisheries. It has a highly buoyant, elongated body, blunt snout and small, wide head. At the beginning of the year FSO partnered with Defenders of Wildlife, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and the Ocean Public Trust Initiative (a project of the Earth Island Institute’s International Marine Mammal Project) to assess and comment on the Draft Recovery Plan for the Southwest Alaska Distinct Population Segment of the Northern Sea Otter. Fish & Wildlife Service Issues Recovery Plan for Alaskan DPS of Northern Sea Otter. 2 Category Score Biological Population Size (-10 to 10) By 1911, hunting for the animal's luxurious fur had reduced the sea otter population to fewer than 2000 individuals in the most remote and … RECOVERY PLAN: Southern sea otter, approved 2003; northern sea otter, none. The recovery plan outlines the objectives to be to reach a self-sustaining population of Sea Otters, for otters to play a functional role in the ecosystem close to shore, and to reduce threats to otters so their populations can continue to carry on. Historically, sea otters (Enhydra lutris) inhabited coastal waters from Baja California north to the coast of southern Alaska, west across the Aleutian islands to the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia, and south to the northern islands of Japan.Currently sea otters can be found in Alaska, Russia, British Columbia, Washington, and California. The sea otter was once abundant in a wide arc across the North Pacific ocean, from northern Japan to Alaska to Mexico. Banning commercial harvests allowed them to rebound. "August 2013." Sea otters have an acute sense of smell and taste an… Region 7. To achieve this goal, the recovery plan identifies three objectives: 1) achieve and maintain a self-sustaining population of sea otters in each MU; 2) maintain enough sea Sea otters have not recolonized all former habitats, though their current distribution is considered stable (USFWS 2013b; Ballachey and Bodkin 2015). To learn more, please see our Privacy Policy and our Terms & Conditions for additional detail. However, the population has been in decline since the mid-1980s. With respect to the otter's declining status, the recovery plan states that "[t]he only identified threat factor that is judged to have a high importance to recovery is predation[,]" and the weight of the evidence suggests that killer whale predation is the most likely cause. Sea otter recovery strategies include conducting research and monitoring to determine abundance, distribution and health of the population, protection of sea otters and their habitat, prevention and preparation for oil spills, exchange of information, increased public education and outreach and development of cooperative, proactive management approaches among involved entities to reduce potential future sea otter-fishery … It is focused on federally listed species that depend on tidal marshes in San Francisco Bay and tidal marshes along the Northern and Central California coast. U.S. Sea otters in other parts of Alaska are thriving, giving experts hope that the population around Katmai will reach stable, sustainable levels. ACTION TIMELINE. otter under the Endangered Species Act: 1) increasing the range of sea otters in California to lessen the risk of a single oil spill event reducing the otter population below a viable level, and 2) decreasing the likelihood of a major oil spill event within the sea otter’s range. Topics include listing and critical habitat decisions, conservation and recovery planning, inter-agency consultation, and related developments in law, policy, and science. Recovery Plan for the Southern Sea Otter. They’re also using the genomic resources from this study to assess the genetic diversity of more than 130 individual sea otters across the species’ range, information that will be incorporated into sea otter recovery goals. Fish and Wildlife Service. Adult males reach an average length of 4.5 feet (1.4 m) with a typical weight between 50 and 100 lbs (23 to 45 kg), while adult females reach an average length of 4 feet (1.2 m) and typically weigh 45 lbs (20 kg). Reg. Name of plan or outline: Southwest Alaska Distinct Population Segment of the Northern Sea Otter (Enhydra lutris kenyoni) Recovery Plan . 2003 southern sea otter recovery plan 2000 petition to list southwest Alaska sea otter 1977 southern sea otter Endangered Species Act listing. The Recovery Plan for the Southwest Alaska DPS was finalized in August 2013, and the Federal Register notice announcing its completion is expected to be While they occasionally sleep or give birth on shore, most of their lives are spent in the water. The goals of the recovery plan is to protect this species and control and reduce threats to survival. We use cookies on this website to improve functionality, enhance performance, analyze website traffic and to enable social media features. Earlier this month, the U.S. THREATS: Bycatch from commercial fisheries, predation by killer whales in unbalanced ecosystems, oil spills, and pollution. Wildlife recovery--Alaska. We also inform readers about regulatory and legislative developments, as well as key court decisions. Its cousin, the southern sea otter, is found off the coasts of California. Today, sea otters can only be harvested for subsistence purposes. Sea otters came under international protection in 1911 and since then, their numbers have rebounded. The recovery strategy for the sea otter has been prepared in cooperation with the jurisdictions described in the Preface. ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT PROFILE. The northern sea otter can be found off the coasts of Alaska and Washington state. Take action to protect Katmai National Park & Preserve. Northern sea otters are the smallest marine mammals, growing to about 4 feet in length and averaging up to 65 pounds. 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