Most otter species have at least one permanent burrow (den) by water. Giant otters (genus Pteronura) are found mainly in slow-moving rivers and creeks within forests, swamps, and marshes. North American river otters are found throughout the United States and Canada. Otter watching involves perseverance. © 2021 SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Inc. All Rights Reserved. The tail comprises less than a third of the body length. sea-bottom substrates. of the North Pacific, from Japan, If sea otters By controlling sea urchin populations, sea otters promote giant kelp growth, as that species is a favorite of sea urchin grazers. Cape clawless otters are found in widely varying habitats, from dense rainforest to open coastal plain and semi-arid zones. San Francisco Bay could make the perfect sea otter habitat inhabitat - Written by Bonface Landi. Giant otters (genus Pteronura) are found mainly in slow-moving rivers and creeks within forests, swamps, and mars… They especially like to reside in waters with kelp beds. Eurasian otters are found throughout most of Europe, Asia, and North Africa (Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia). Home ranges vary in size with species, location, and resource distribution, and are generally larger for males. 9. from shore. Interactions). shellfish are plentiful. Coastal otters frequent intertidal zones in search of blennies, eels, rockling, crabs and other crustaceans, and are easy to spot when on the shore. Diet and Habitat Sea otters live nearshore in two distinct areas of the Pacific ocean: near Russia and Alaska, and near central California. congregate in groups of gender such as: the pups and do not live in deeper waters because Sea Otters Cape clawless otters inhabit the southern two-thirds of the African continent. Sea Otters do not migrate due to their The decline in more typical killer whale prey species has led some killer whales to switch to feeding on sea otters. Habitat and Distribution. 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. in the water. is during mating. Sea otters use the kelp to wrap themselves in when they are resting. Our overarching zoological mission is to foster conservation awareness and to impart action on our park guests to preserve wild animals and wild places. Sea Otter Facts: Habitat: Northern and eastern North Pacific Ocean. In coastal areas, they are known to forage both at sea and in adjoining streams and marshes. Sea Otters do not migrate due to their Rolling places are bare patches of ground where otters roll and groom. covered beaches, small icebergs or River otters (genus Lutra) inhabit all types of inland waterways, as well as estuaries and marine coves. 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. Ninety percent of the world’s sea otters live in coastal Alaska. California. Sea otters are known to wrap their pups and themselves in kelp to keep from drifting out to sea. Sea Otters Could Get New Home in San Francisco Bay. A sea otter eats in the water, lying on its back, with its food on its chest. Sea otters prefer coastal habitats within a mile of the shoreline. In a kelp forest, sea urchins can graze on the kelp and eat their holdfasts , resulting in deforesting the kelp from an area. A raft is usually comprised of single-sex sea otters that can range from 10 to a hundred individuals. Other places you will find them lingering include around rivers, streams, and lakes. Very little information is available on worldwide population figures for freshwater otters. When the water temperatures are too cold sea otters reduce heat loss by floating … Despite perils such as oil spills and high-speed ferries, the bay has plenty of safe spots for this charismatic threatened species. coat of fur. Sea otters live in shallow coastal waters in the northern Pacific. Sea Otters that live in rocky bottom habitats interact with organisms such as lobsters, sea Despite perils such as oil spills and high-speed ferries, the bay has plenty of safe spots for this charismatic threatened species. Hear animal sounds for animals like anteaters, dolphins, frogs and more. Their teeth are strong enough to crunch open a clam shell or bite through a sea urchin's spines. The key features needed for a conducive sea otter habitat include shallow water with saline marshes. then it is a longer dive for them to catch their food. Clawless otter (genus Aonyx) habitats vary greatly among the species and between individuals. What’s more, these coastal otters live their lives according to the tides, while river otters are usually most active at night. Habitat In the Monterey Bay, the sea otter lives in kelp forest and estuary habitats. It establishes a burrow close to the water's edge in river, lake, swamp, coastal shoreline, tidal flat, or estuary ecosystems. Taken with tigers? (See also Reproduction). Same-sex territories do not overlap, and they are patrolled and defended by their owners. Are you wild about whales? Crazy about roller coasters? In October 2005, the U.S. Otters have been seen along the streams, and vernal pools provide habitat for many animals and plants. Sea Otters and the Endangered Species Act . Sea otters inhabit temperate coastal waters with rocky or soft sediment ocean bottom. So are we! Can otters use tools? coat of fur. Females are slightly smaller, weighing 14-33 kg and measuring 1-1.4 m in length. coast of the Kamchatka Peninsula, then from Alaska down The Marine Mammal Protection Act protects sea otters. Habitat. 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. Since they must sleep at the surface, they often wrap themselves in giant kelp to keep from floating away. A female sea otter and her pup on an iceberg in the Sea otters are commonly spotted on WWF’s Alaska tours. urchins, and abalone. Sea otters (scientific name: Enhydra lutris) can be found in shallow water areas in the North Pacific Ocean. They use kelp beds to wrap themselves or tie Males weigh 22-45 kg and are 1.2-1.5 m in length. while they are out hunting and searching for food. The Alaskan sea otter population numbered more than 100,000 in the 1980s. A small population of sea otters lives at S… A sea otter may remove an abalone by repeatedly hitting it with a rock. They go wherever the fish are: ponds, lakes, rivers, lagoons, and right into the ocean whenever they want. They are thought to be more terrestrial in nature than other otter species. Sea Otters Fun Facts for Kids. 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. Sea Otter. of coastline. Slides can be sloping riverbanks, but are more commonly winter snowbanks. 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. out by waters near shore or kelp beds and where Northern sea otters are found in the Aleutian Islands, South Central and Southeast Alaska, British Columbia, and Washington. Professional and amateur athletes alike make the annual pilgrimage to Sea Otter to participate in some of the sport’s most competitive and enduring events. First, the sea otter uses their feet to reduce or maximize heat loss when water temperatures are too hot or too cold. Many sea otters live near rocky sea bottoms and shorelines, where marine communities are extremely diverse. Come with us on an unforgettable journey behind the scenes during a SeaWorld or Busch Gardens Camp. There may be fewer than 1,000 marine otters left throughout their range. San Francisco Bay could become the new home to extinction-threatened sea otters, according to a recent report published in PeerJ. California otters often prefer kelp beds, probably because of the protection and food resources they provide. Historically, sea otters occupied a contiguous range from northern Japan, across the North Pacific, and down to Baja California, Mexico. crabs, and snails. River otters (genus Lutra) inhabit all types of inland waterways, as well as estuaries and marine coves. and sometimes in the winter go on sandy, cobble, snow An otter is one of the few species that use tools. Territories differ from home ranges. Sea Otters sporadically go onto shore to rest Sea otters can spend their entire life in water. Sea otters use rocks to remove prey from their shells. In the Monterey Bay, the sea otter lives in kelp forest and estuary habitats. hang in groups called rafts; they usually hang Trade in the animal has no significant adverse effect on the wild population of the animal in any of its natural habitats. also Adaptation). Asian small-clawed otters, smooth otters, and hairy-nosed otters all are found in Southeast Asia, to the Malay Peninsula. Sea otters are not nearly so versatile. Sea otters (genus Enhydra) are found in coastal waters of the North Pacific, rarely more than 1 km (0.6 mi.) Otter Habitat and Distribution Otters are found on every single continent in the world except for Australia and Antarctica. There is a much larger population in Alaska, and sea otters are still found in Russia. reproduces click. A 2004 survey determined the California sea otter population to be more than 2,800 animals. There is also a small experimental population that originated from relocated animals at San Miguel Island off the coast of Santa Barbara. Sea otters once ranged from Mexico to Alaska and even to Japan. hang in groups called rafts; they usually hang They typically … With the exception of sea otters, all otters spend a great deal of time on land, often traveling considerable distances between waterways. To learn how the sea otter and are the smallest marine mammal in North America. They will use rocks to open food like clams, sea urchins and crabs. There is a much larger population of sea otters … 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. Mothers tend to leave their pups in the kelp beds They are frequently found in protected harbors, barrier reefs, and kelp forests that offer shelter from wind and waves. The kelp acts as an anchor that the sea otters use to wrap themselves in when they are resting. Because the pelts of sea otters are thick, warm and beautiful, fur hunters killed hundreds of thousands of them—unti… winter. It then slopes upward to a nest chamber above the high-water level. Sea Otters eat, sleep, mate, and even give birth Spot-necked otters are found throughout Africa in all countries south of the Sahara. Slides offer quick access to water or other facilities. Historically, southern sea otters were present in coastal marine habitats from northern California to Baja California in Mexico. 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. Cape clawless otters do not dig burrows. 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. Not all otters use tools, but sea otters use them all the time. The burrow's main entrance may be under water. The only time the male and females are together Otters spend a large amount of time in the water, yet they still have fur. have very distinct habitats. (See for females. They stay in areas where the water is less than 130 feet California’s southern sea otter has been listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act since 1977. River otters dig their own burrows. At SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, we extend our commitment to the environment beyond our company by supporting a variety of conservation groups and programs. It prohibits commercial harvest of sea otters, and allows Alaska natives to hunt sea otters for subsistence and creation of handicrafts.