Are Killer Whales Eating Sea Otters in Aleutian Islands ?
Recent studies cannot explain the 80% drop in sea otter populations in the Aleutian Islands as due to lack of food or contaminants. It appears that a likely scenario is predation by killer whales. An October report titled "Killer Whale Predation on Sea Otters Linking Oceanic and Nearshore Ecosystems" by J. A. Estes, M. T. Tinker, T. M. Williams, and D. F. Doak is in Science Magazine's October 16, 1998 edition. Key finding: in less than a decade over 40,000 sea otters may have been eaten by a small group of killer whales in the Aleutian Islands (compares to current population of 2,000 sea otters in all of the California coast).
Story on this report linked for your convenience.
Taking you to the Ross Park Zoo in Binghamton NY, OTTERNET interviews Deidre Flaherty who cares for two Cape Clawless Otters. Hear how these
unique otters, with paws like our hands, create fun (and headaches) for their caretakers !
OTTERNET gets out to bring you an exclusive interview with Andy Johnson, Program Manager at Monterey Bay Aquarium's SORAC program. Get the inside scoop only here on OTTERNET.COM !
Discovery online also does interview.
What's new with the IOSF Otters????
Oscar is released earlier this year !
See more news at the IOSF page!
IOSF Projects Need Your Help !
The IOSF has identified 3 key upcoming otter projects which will be critical in developing effective conservation plans for several otter species:
- Costa Rica Neotropical Otter Project - Research into this declining species is critical to better understand its ecology, population and conservation status.
- Thailand and Maylasia Hairy Nosed Otter Project - Research to better understand this little known otter species
- South Africa Cape Clawless and Spotted Necked Otter Project - Research to understand distribution, population and ecology
See more detail and for contributions to help at the IOSF projects page!
Sea otters policy statements on-line
The Friends of the Sea Otter have put online their position statements on a range of issues, including sea otter range expansion and kelp harvesting issues. 6/00 NEWS UPDATE: Southern Sea Otter census up in Spring 2000 to 2,317.
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