Sea Otter – Recovery

Sea Otter – Recovery

Music; Ambience: Sea Otters

We’re listening to the sounds of Sea Otters. These sleek marine mammals were once hunted to the brink of extinction for their valuable fur. Today, thanks to the efforts of conservation biologists, Southern Sea Otters once again inhabit the cold waters off the California coast. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. Andy Johnson rehabilitates injured and abandoned sea otters at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California. In recent years, he says that otters have been successfully returned to a small portion of their former range.

“Historically the range extended from Baha California all the way up the West Coast of North America to Alaska and around into Russia and Japan. Through hunting in the 17 and 1800s most of the sea otters were eliminated, or hunted to almost near extinction, particularly the southern population. It became geographically separated and it wasn’t until the early 1900’s that a small group of about fifty animals was found along the Big Sur Coast not far from this area where we’re at.”

Today about two thousand Southern Sea Otters live along the coast near Monterey Bay, California. Because they’re protected under the Endangered Species Act, the otters are no longer killed for their fur, but they remain at the mercy of humans. Pesticides and other toxic chemicals that find their way into the otters’ diet can concentrate in their bodies, posing a new threat to their survival.

“As we study this population more and more, we’re finding these levels of contaminates that these animals store in their body tissues are actually increasing. And some animals are actually dying from this directly. We do think that some of these animals, because of the buildup of toxins and contaminants are becoming immuno-suppressed because lately we’ve been seeing a higher incidence of infectious disease.”

Our thanks to the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Sea Otter Research and Conservation Program. Pulse of the Planet is presented with support provided by the National Science Foundation.

Sea Otter - Recovery

Once hunted for their fur, Sea Otters have been saved from extinction thanks to the efforts of conservation biologists.
Air Date:11/20/2003
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Transcript:

Sea Otter - Recovery

Music; Ambience: Sea Otters

We're listening to the sounds of Sea Otters. These sleek marine mammals were once hunted to the brink of extinction for their valuable fur. Today, thanks to the efforts of conservation biologists, Southern Sea Otters once again inhabit the cold waters off the California coast. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet. Andy Johnson rehabilitates injured and abandoned sea otters at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California. In recent years, he says that otters have been successfully returned to a small portion of their former range.

"Historically the range extended from Baha California all the way up the West Coast of North America to Alaska and around into Russia and Japan. Through hunting in the 17 and 1800s most of the sea otters were eliminated, or hunted to almost near extinction, particularly the southern population. It became geographically separated and it wasn't until the early 1900's that a small group of about fifty animals was found along the Big Sur Coast not far from this area where we're at."

Today about two thousand Southern Sea Otters live along the coast near Monterey Bay, California. Because they're protected under the Endangered Species Act, the otters are no longer killed for their fur, but they remain at the mercy of humans. Pesticides and other toxic chemicals that find their way into the otters' diet can concentrate in their bodies, posing a new threat to their survival.

"As we study this population more and more, we're finding these levels of contaminates that these animals store in their body tissues are actually increasing. And some animals are actually dying from this directly. We do think that some of these animals, because of the buildup of toxins and contaminants are becoming immuno-suppressed because lately we've been seeing a higher incidence of infectious disease."

Our thanks to the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Sea Otter Research and Conservation Program. Pulse of the Planet is presented with support provided by the National Science Foundation.