FAQ: What Was The Result Of The Over Hunting Of Sea Otters Along The Pacific Coast?

What were sea otters hunted for?

Currently the population is estimated at just above 3,000 animals. Sea otters were hunted extensively for their luxurious pelts during the 18th and 19th centuries, significantly reducing the original population whose numbers were estimated by historians to have been around 16,000 animals.

Why were the sea otters hunted to near extinction?

Southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis), also known as California sea otters, were listed as threatened in 1977 under the Endangered Species Act. Reduced range and population size, vulnerability to oil spills, and oil spill risk from coastal tanker traffic were the primary reasons for listing.

What happens when you remove sea otters from the ecosystem?

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.

What happened to the sea otters during the 1800?

For its fur the sea otter was hunted almost to extinction during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Its former range – from northern Asia, around the top of the Pacific Ocean and down the North American coast to southern California – was reduced to a few remnant populations and about 1 000 individuals.

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Why are otters in danger?

Sea otters are a highly endangered marine mammal. They are at great risk of extinction due to many reasons such as fur trade, shark attacks, habitat degradation, oil spills,fishing nets, disease and being viewed as competition.

How many otters die a year?

Around 50,000 North American River Otters are killed each year by legal trapping throughout the USA and Canada (CITES Trade Database, 2013).

What are otters scared of?

You could use lemon grass to keep them away from your pond and even your garden. Insect repellent may also work at times to keep the otters away. Making a huge and sudden noise when you spot the otters is also sure to scare them and drive them away, leaving you to enjoy your fish pond in peace.

Do sea otters ever go on land?

Sea otters, conversely, are found only in salt water and rarely go on land. While sea otters use their two webbed hind feet and tail to propel them through the water, the four webbed feet of river otters are what enable them to swim efficiently.

What is the relationship between sea otters and sea urchins?

The sea otter and kelp also have a mutualistic relationship. The sea otter eats sea urchins which if there is a large population makes the kelp endangered. Once the kelp dies it floats up and provides the sea otter with a source of food. Since both organisms are benefitting this is an example of mutualism.

What was the immediate cause of the decline in the sea otter population?

Orcas will eat otters when seals, their normal prey, are unavailable, and the Aleutian Islands seal population declined dramatically in the 1980s. Therefore, orcas were most likely the immediate cause of the otter population decline.

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What happens when sea otters disappeared from the Pacific Coast of North America?

When sea otters disappeared from the Pacific coast of North America, a. the area became overrun with kelp. the number of sea urchins in the kelp beds increased.

What eats sea otters in the Pacific Ocean?

Great white sharks and orcas will eat sea otters, especially if larger prey like seals and sea lions are not available. Bald eagles, bears and coyotes will also eat sea otters. Sea otters must also be able to defend themselves from the cold waters in which they swim.

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