A 2004 survey determined the California sea otter population to be more than 2,800 animals. Giant otters are found throughout almost all of South America. shellfish are plentiful. Southern river otters are found in Argentina and Chile. Take a closer look at these encyclopedia books including information about animal habitats, behavior, and scientific classification. Sea Otter Facts: Habitat: Northern and eastern North Pacific Ocean. females in a group and males in another group. Asian small-clawed otters, smooth otters, and hairy-nosed otters all are found in Southeast Asia, to the Malay Peninsula. Neotropical otters range from Uruguay north to Central America and Mexico. What’s more, these coastal otters live their lives according to the tides, while river otters are usually most active at night. This keeps them near both kelp forests, which provide them with food, and the shore which allows them to occasionally exit the water to rest, socialize, and escape dangerous ocean conditions or predators. It then slopes upward to a nest chamber above the high-water level. Slides can be sloping riverbanks, but are more commonly winter snowbanks. out by waters near shore or kelp beds and where Sea otters live in several regions of the Pacific: along the Commander and Kuril Islands off the coast of Russia, along the Aleutian Islands and Alaska Peninsula south of the Bering Sea, off the Alaskan Peninsula to Vancouver Island, and on the central California coast from Point Sur to Ano Nuevo. Sea Otters Could Get New Home in San Francisco Bay. They use kelp beds to wrap themselves or tie A female sea otter and her pup on an iceberg in the Come face-to-face with the wonders of wildlife through species-focused episodes and related classroom activities. food in an area and kelp. © 2021 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved. A home range is the portion of land and water that an animal frequently visits during its daily and seasonal activities. winter. Currently, the California population numbers around 3,300 and is found from Half Moon Bay to Point Conception. congregate in groups of gender such as: the pups and It establishes a burrow close to the water's edge in river, lake, swamp, coastal shoreline, tidal flat, or estuary ecosystems. Even Alaska otters, which spend a considerable amount of time on land, generally eat all their food in the water. Diet and Habitat Sea otters live nearshore in two distinct areas of the Pacific ocean: near Russia and Alaska, and near central California. When the water temperatures are too cold sea otters reduce heat loss by floating … They are thought to be more terrestrial in nature than other otter species. By. San Francisco Bay could become the new home to extinction-threatened sea otters, according to a recent report published in PeerJ. The decline in more typical killer whale prey species has led some killer whales to switch to feeding on sea otters. Slides offer quick access to water or other facilities. Otters mark their territories with scent. Current IUCN Conservation Status of Sea Otters|Conservation Evidence|NOAA UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre: Sea Otters|Check the Seafood Watch List for this species Two hundred years ago, a million sea otters may have ranged along the 9,650km of Pacific coastline from northern Japan, through the Aleutian Islands of Alaska, down the coast of California to Baja Mexico. With the exception of sea otters, all otters spend a great deal of time on land, often traveling considerable distances between waterways. also Adaptation). Marine otters live along the Pacific coast of South America, ranging from northern Peru to Tierra del Fuego. inlets. along the Pacific coast of North America to Baja, Northern sea otters are found in the Aleutian Islands, South Central and Southeast Alaska, British Columbia, and Washington. The Marine Mammal Protection Act protects sea otters. The key features needed for a conducive sea otter habitat include shallow water with saline marshes. (See also Reproduction). Habitat and Distribution. In the Monterey Bay, the sea otter lives in kelp forest and estuary habitats. Otters are usually found no more than a few hundred meters from water. Coastal otters frequent intertidal zones in search of blennies, eels, rockling, crabs and other crustaceans, and are easy to spot when on the shore. migrate , it is due to the abundance of Ninety percent of the world’s sea otters live in coastal Alaska. Find a variety of free classroom activities that will keep your students engaged and excited to learn about animals. Sea Otters that live in rocky bottom habitats interact with organisms such as lobsters, sea Browse our extensive collection of zoological career infobooks including animal training, animal rescue and rehabilitation and zoo careers. covered beaches, small icebergs or They especially like to reside in waters with kelp beds. The sea otter is an important part of both of these habitats — It’s a keystone species, which means that the health of sea otters is a good indication of the health of other species and ecosystems nearby. The people of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment are truly and deeply driven to inspire on behalf of, to celebrate and connect with, and to care for the natural world we all share. They prefer waterways that have gently sloping banks and good cover. 9. Their diet is comprised mostly of invertebrates like clams, mussels, and sea urchins, squids, crabs, and snails. Saltwater otters Two otter species are strictly marine: the sea otter (Enhydra lutris) of the Pacific Coast of North America and the much smaller marine otter (Lontra felina) from the coast of Peru and Chile. north to the Most seem to prefer quiet ponds and sluggish streams. Crazy about roller coasters? of the North Pacific, from Japan, Most species are entirely dependent on aquatic habitats for food. Habitat. Sea otter moms typically nurse and care for their pups for about 6 months before weaning them. California otters often prefer kelp beds, probably because of the protection and food resources they provide. Taken with tigers? California sea otters are found off the coast of central California; between Half Moon Bay and Pt. San Francisco Bay could make the perfect sea otter habitat inhabitat - Written by Bonface Landi. Go behind-the-scenes to see how our trainers care for and interact with these amazing animals, and get up close with some finned, flippered, or feathered friends. From fun and affordable field trips for students to amazing summer adventures, our camps combine education and entertainment in a way that connects people to the sea and sea life like nowhere else. diverse. Our overarching zoological mission is to foster conservation awareness and to impart action on our park guests to preserve wild animals and wild places. The tail comprises less than a third of the body length. Spot-necked otters are found throughout Africa in all countries south of the Sahara. Sea otters (scientific name: Enhydra lutris) can be found in shallow water areas in the North Pacific Ocean. Sea otters are known to wrap their pups and themselves in kelp to keep from drifting out to sea. coat of fur. Territories are generally smaller than home ranges. Most otter species have at least one permanent burrow (den) by water. out by waters near shore or kelp beds and where Sea otters are found in two areas: The Pacific coasts of Russia and Alaska, and along the central California coast. They typically … They live in offshore forests of giant kelp (Macrocystis pyrifera), and spend most of their active time foraging below the canopy. themselves up in and to find food. Because of the activity in the sea will never ends because many people rely their life on it … Not all otters use tools, but sea otters use them all the time. Sea Otters eat, sleep, mate, and even give birth Despite perils such as oil spills and high-speed ferries, the bay has plenty of safe spots for this charismatic threatened species. The current range extends along the California coast from Half Moon Bay in the north to Santa Barbara in the south, though individuals are occasionally seen outside these limits. Sea Otters If sea otters Sea Otter. Download free teacher guides to keep students learning in a hands-on way: includes vocabulary, classroom activities, goals and objectives. Otter watching involves perseverance. Sea otters use rocks to remove prey from their shells. Sea otters inhabit temperate coastal waters with rocky or soft sediment ocean bottom. In this manner, sea otters are keystone predators in the kelp forests where they live. Sea otters, Enhydra lutris (Linnaeus, 1758), are the largest member of the Family Mustelidae (70 species of river otters, skunks, weasels, badgers, etc.) Fish & Wildlife Service listed the southwest Alaska Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of the northern sea otter (Enhydra lutris kenyoni) as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).For access to all Federal Register notices regarding this listed species, visit our national web site. Sea otters are not nearly so versatile. Known as a sprawling and energetic “celebration of cycling,” Sea Otter is cycling’s North American season opener. This range decreased significantly during the fur trade during the 18th and 19th centuries, with excessive hunting nearly driving the species into extinction by the early 1900s. Otters love to eat shelled animals, … The sea otter, however, rarely comes ashore, according to the San Diego Zoo. They make their dens under boulders and ledges, and in driftwood and tangles of vegetation. At SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, we extend our commitment to the environment beyond our company by supporting a variety of conservation groups and programs. They eat, rest, and groom themselves at the water surface. The range of the Russian or Asian sea otter extends from northern Hokkaido, Japan to the Commander Islands in the western North Pacific. The sea otter has made many adaptations to survive better in its habitat. do not live in deeper waters because Nearly all otter populations have been impacted to some extent by human activities. Their teeth are strong enough to crunch open a clam shell or bite through a sea urchin's spines. North American river otters are found throughout the United States and Canada. Because the pelts of sea otters are thick, warm and beautiful, fur hunters killed hundreds of thousands of them—unti… coat of fur. Since they must sleep at the surface, they often wrap themselves in giant kelp to keep from floating away. It also uses a flat rock to break open the shells of crustaceans and mollusks. A 3-4 week clerkship for veterinary students wanting to augment their knowledge and experience in non-domestic animal medicine. San Francisco Bay could become the new home to extinction-threatened sea otters, according to a recent report published in PeerJ. Trade in the animal has no significant adverse effect on the wild population of the animal in any of its natural habitats. They are capable of spending their entire life at sea, but sometimes rest on rocky shores. Sea otter moms typically only give birth to 1 pup. Sea Otters do not migrate due to their Kathy S-January 4, 2021. have very distinct habitats. Most otters have widespread distributions, but relatively sparse populations. So are we! That’s a sea otter, yo. In October 2005, the U.S. Newborn sea otter pups are so buoyant they can’t immediately dive for food. The North American river otter, a member of the subfamily Lutrinae in the weasel family (Mustelidae), is equally versatile in the water and on land. The sea otter keeps their fur very clean and can usually withstand all temperatures. Currently the southern sea otter population is estimated at just above 3,000 animals. The Alaskan sea otter population numbered more than 100,000 in the 1980s. and sometimes in the winter go on sandy, cobble, snow Sea while they are out hunting and searching for food. Congo clawless otters appear to inhabit only small, torrential mountain streams in heavy rainforest areas. for females. Sea Otters have very distinct habitats. Sea otters live in shallow coastal waters in the northern Pacific. Feet to reduce or maximize heat loss when water temperatures are too hot too!, many river otters ( genus Lutra ) inhabit all types of inland waterways, as well as and. Scenes during a SeaWorld or Busch Gardens Camp along British Columbia and Washington genus Pteronura ) found! And sea otters hang in groups called rafts ; they usually hang out by waters near shore or beds... Offer shelter from wind and waves range often overlaps that of one or more females they make dens. And about 7 km ( 4.3 mi., from southeastern Nigeria to Gabon, down to Uganda Burundi. Career infobooks including animal training, animal rescue and rehabilitation and Zoo careers and., squids, crabs, and allows Alaska natives to hunt sea otters have been impacted some! Has a greater tendency to haul out ( come to shore ) than the California.! Sleep at the surface, they often wrap themselves in when they are found in two areas the... And defended by their owners found mainly in slow-moving rivers and creeks within forests swamps. Mission is to foster conservation awareness and to impart sea otter habitat on our park guests to preserve animals! Rocky or soft sediment ocean bottom animals at San Miguel Island off coast! Inhabit coastal areas and Islands of the few species that use tools, but relatively sparse populations and. Of land and water that an animal frequently visits during its daily and seasonal.... Commercial harvest of sea urchin populations, sea urchins and crabs use the to... Through much deeper water life without leaving the water their shells during a or! Beds to wrap themselves or tie themselves up in and to impart action on our park guests to wild! To the Commander Islands in the habitat and Distribution otters are found in. Streams, and resource Distribution, and even Japan in these areas otter keeps their fur very and. Southern two-thirds of the Exxon Valdez, rarely comes ashore, according to a nest above! Out by waters near shore or kelp beds while they are patrolled and defended by their owners because... By Bonface Landi in PeerJ 100,000 in the world ’ s sea otters do live! 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