Help protect endangered sea otters from extinction by learning more about this fascinating animal! University of Exeter. They use their flat, webbed hind feet to swim and have been known to swim up to 5mph. November 27, 2017 admintag People chased sea otters because of fur and skin. The European otter is classed as "vulnerable to extinction". Sea otters are a keystone species, meaning their role in their environment has a greater effect than other species. Hunting otters for pelts is now illegal, but laws against poaching are difficult to enforce in the areas where they live. I recently went to the zoo and saw around ten otters making "noises" so to speak, and wandered if they were endangered, least of concern, etc - and if they are, that would be great! However, there are several emerging threats to this sensitive species. Sea otters are commonly spotted on WWF’s Alaska tours. Otters require clean rivers with an abundant, varied supply of food and plenty of bank-side vegetation offering secluded sites for their holts. Status: Endangered Current estimates place the population between 1,000 and 5,000, placing it among the endangered otter species. The giant otter is classified as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Otter & Southwest Stock of Northern Sea Otters in Alaska are both listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act. Such areas can be made more attractive to otters by establishing “otter havens,” where river banks are planted-up and kept free from human disturbance. Other members of this family are weasels, polecats and badgers. OCEANWALKERS Sea Otters live in coastal waters & estuaries. India currently hosts three out of thirteen existing otter species, with the population rates of all three facing rapid decline due to poaching and loss of habitat. Its fur is the densest of any animal on Earth—an estimated 1 million hairs per square inch. And research on and monitoring of southern sea otters has dwindled. The problem . He explains, 'We often find otters in old industrial parts of towns. They require clean rivers, with an abundant source of food and plenty of vegetation to hide their secluded holts. The Sea Otter was hunted to near extinction in the 19th century. Hairy-Nosed Otter. Currently, there are only 3,000 sea otters left in the wild, making them heavily endangered. California Sea Otter. ScienceDaily. Now there are about 3,000 otters in California and sea otters are protected as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. They are usually found in clean rivers, lakes and coastlines of Europe, parts of Asia and along the Pacific coast. They are semi-aquatic, aquatic as well as marine and have few natural predators. Description . Riversides often lack the appropriate cover for otters to lie up during the day. For example, the 18-year-old federal recovery plan for southern sea otters, mandated under the Endangered Species Act, requires extensive revision because much of the scientific data upon which it was based are no longer relevant. The Southern Sea Otter & Southwest Stock of Northern Sea Otters in Alaska are both listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act. Native to southeast Asia, the hairy-nosed otter (Lutra sumatrana) has had a 50 percent reduction in population in the last 30 years due to poaching, pollution and lack of prey fish due to overfishing. Its main threat comes from humans, through habitat destruction, pollution and traffic. Thanks to the International Fur Seal Treaty of 1911, the Marine Mammal Protection Act and Endangered Species Act of the 1970s, California sea otters were able to make a partial comeback — about 3,000 live on the California coast today. They are also threatened by chemical pollution in the water. The population of otters has been increasing ever since it was declared an endangered species and protected by the US. Sources: Doroff, A. It is a mammal, often spotted in our mangroves, mudflats and coastal areas, where it forages for clams, fish, and other small creatures. David Wembridge, Mammal Surveys Coordinator at the People's Trust for Endangered Species (PTES), says that industrial areas can offer secluded habitats. How to identify The otter is a large, powerful mammal, with grey-brown fur, a broad snout, and a pale chest and throat. In addition, otters were caught, because they considered them competitors in fishing and shellfish production. There were about 474 stranded otters in 2016. In previous assessments, they were listed as Vulnerable (1982-1996) and then Endangered (2000 onwards). An adult sea otter is about 4 feet long and females can weigh up to 50 pounds, whereas males can weigh closer to 70 pounds. Read More: Why are Sea Otters Endangered? Otter sightings have been reported in various parts of the country. Ironically, they are currently protected under the Endangered Species Act in the United States. This increase has seen it compete for clams with the brown bear. The Smooth-coated Otter (Lutrogale perspicillata) is the largest otter in Southeast Asia, and is named after its velvety smooth coat. The sea otter, one of the 13 otter species, is considered the smallest marine mammal in the world. The Giant River Otter is classified as “Endangered” in the IUCN Red List (2008) and has been included in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species since 1973. Established in 1964, the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species has evolved to become the world’s most comprehensive information source on the global conservation status of animal, fungi and plant species. Giant otters are listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List, and were last assessed in June 2014. Learn how their webbed feet, fur, and ears are perfectly adapted to their riverine environment. Estuaries were not even considered in the US fish and wildlife service’s plan for the recovery of the sea otter in California, listed as threatened under the US Endangered Species Act. The average otter is 1–1.3 metres in length, and weighs up to 9kg. Discover more fascinating facts about giant otters in our fact file by the International Otter Survival Fund. For one of the smallest marine mammals on Earth (yet the largest member of the weasel family), the sea otter has racked up quite a few superlatives: 10. Otters are semi-aquatic mammals that belong to the family called Mustelid. 2. Otters are well suited to a life on the water as they have webbed feet, dense fur to keep them warm, and can close their ears and nose when underwater. The southern river otter (Lontra provocax) is a species of otter that lives in Chile and Argentina.Although called a "river otter", it inhabits both marine and freshwater environments. The otters form the subfamily Lutrinae within the mustelids and the giant otter is the only member of the genus Pteronura.Two subspecies are currently recognized by the canonical Mammal Species of the World, P. b. brasiliensis and P. b. paraguensis.Incorrect descriptions of the species have led to multiple synonyms (the latter subspecies is often P. b. paranensis in the literature). (2020, November 25). As top predators, sea otters are critical to maintaining the balance of nearshore ecosystems, such as kelp forests, embayments and estuaries. Hello all; this is my first question, so be nice! It sometimes is considered a subspecies of Lontra canadensis.The southern river otter is listed as endangered, due to illegal hunting, water pollution, and habitat loss Following the banning of fur trade, giant otter numbers have recovered across South America. The species is now legally protected, but the remaining population is highly fragmented across the range and most subpopulations are small. According to the International Otter Survival Fund, out of the 13 species of otters around the world, the only ones that are not threatened or endangered are North American River Otters, which live just about everywhere in the United States and Canada except for the Rocky Mountains and dry areas. The sea otter can live its entire life without leaving the water. The giant otter is rated ‘Endangered’ by the IUCN. Why are sea otters endangered ? This species of sea otter is actually native to the Eurasia. As the largest otter, it can reach up to 2m in length. CITES is a document ratified by all South American countries. I'm meant to be doing a piece of Coursework on any Biological Issue (a problem) so i decided to do Conservation. Find out why the world’s largest otter has become endangered. One day, he went out to check on them, and a river otter, another endangered species at the time, had consumed about 70 or so of the mussels. 9. Ghost fishing threatens endangered river dolphins, critically endangered turtles, otters. Excessive hunting for its pelts until the late 1970s caused the numbers to plummet. Otters are mammals that are extremely playful and sensitive. This competition has seen brown bears, which are quite adaptable, begin to prey on sea otters. Appearance: Sea otters are the smallest marine mammal in North America, but one of the largest members of the weasel family. Then there are the huge forest fires in Sumatra and Malaysia, caused by clear felling for palm oil plantations. Thus, there has been a painfully gradual increase in the population of southern sea otters and according to a 2017 counting, these otters are numbered around 3,186. Hairy-nosed otters are regarded as “Endangered” and face many threats to their survival, including habitat destruction, agricultural pollution, construction of hydroelectric dams and increased fish farming, with an associated increase in human/otter conflicts. It is a gregarious species, living in groups of up to 20 individuals, and will attack potential predators such as caimans. Giant otters, endangered top predators which live in Amazon river ecosystems, were nearly wiped out because of demand for their fur. Sea otters are carnivores in the family Mustelidae—a group of animals that also includes terrestrial and semi-aquatic forms such as weasels, badgers, skunks, fishers, minks, and river otters.Sea otters are the only fully aquatic form of otters, but they share features with the others such as thick fur and short ears. The California sea otters grew at an average rate of less than 2 percent per year during the last 10 years. The runoff from farms, oil drilling and mining operations threatens them. European otter. If the otter is caught at a young age, it is easy to tame and teach to fish and bring it to the owner. Otters are generally associated with large rivers, but they will use quiet outflow points and the canal network. Today the species is protected under the Endangered Species Act & Marine Mammal Protection Act. 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