sea otter population in canada

By the 1950s, the population in south western Alaska, in the Aleutian Islands in particular, was sizable and until the early 1980s the bulk of the global population occurred in the Aleutian Islands (55,100 to 73,700 individuals) (Calkins and Schneider 1985). Figure 4. 2011, Bodkin et al. [accessed January 9, 2012]. 32pp. Reed, and D.H. Monson. Fukuyama, S.C. Jewett, L. McDonald, D.H. Monson, C.E. Marine Mammal Science 9(2):168-181. 32 pp. Cowan, I.M., and C.J. Hatfield, K. Ralls and J. Ames. Vertical distribution and probability of encountering intertidal Exxon Valdez oil on shorelines of three embayments within Prince William Sound, Alaska. Modeling the effects of mortality on sea otter populations: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2010–5096. The occurrence of drowned Sea Otters in crab and fish traps in California and Alaska indicates that Sea Otters will investigate and try to remove prey from man-made structures. At this time, the areas of the British Columbia coast most at risk from oil spills, based on intensity of shipping activity, are Juan de Fuca Strait, west coast Vancouver Island and west coast Haida Gwaii (MacConnachie et al. Watson, J.C. 1993. Paradies, K.R. Historical and current global range of all three subspecies of Sea Otters. The management objective for the Sea Otter is to conserve abundance and distribution in Canada as observed in 20084, and promote the continued population growth and expansion into formerly occupied regions such as Haida Gwaii, Barkley Sound, and north mainland British Columbia coast. Within Washington State, Sea Otters are listed as State Endangered under the Special Species Policy. Enhydra lutris. 4 Refer to Figure 1 and Table 1 for Sea Otter abundance estimates and distribution. 1996). Although there has been considerable research examining the ecological role of Sea Otters and their influence on nearshore rocky habitats and upon the life history of their prey (see Section 3.3.2 Ecological Role), further research is required to determine Northern Abalone population parameters in the presence of Sea Otters, to determine objectives for Northern Abalone recovery. The management objective for the Sea Otter is to conserve abundance and distribution as observed in 2008, and promote the continued population growth and expansion into formerly occupied regions such as Haida Gwaii, Barkley Sound, and north mainland British Columbia coast. Although a harvest is not itself a threat, close monitoring of this activity will be required. 1982; Watson 1993; Estes and Duggins 1995). Garshelis, D.L., A.M. Johnson, and J.A. On the central British Columbia coast growth has been 11.4% per year (1990 to 2008) (Nichol et al. The river otter (Lutra canadensis) occurs throughout N America except in desert and arid tundra regions.In Canada it is scarce, except along the BC coast, where it is abundant and often wrongly identified as a sea otter.. Bowles, W.T. (2002) show that other Sea Otter populations of Washington and Alaska have significantly less genetic diversity compared to their pre-fur trade ancestors. Eighteen Sea Otters were live-captured on the central British Columbia coastin2003and in 2004, 24 Sea Otters were live-captured on the west coast of Vancouver Island; blood and skin biopsy samples were collected during each capture. In the British Columbia samples, exposure to T. gondii was found in live captured animals (DFO Sea Otter program unpubl.) Since 2001 DFO has led boat based and aerial surveys of Sea Otters throughout their range (Nichol et al. As of 2017, Fisheries and Oceans Canada estimated B.C.’s otter population at more than 8,000, reoccupying somewhere between a quarter to a third of their historic range in the province. A strategic environmental assessment (SEA) is conducted on all SARA recovery planning documents, in accordance with the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals. Sea Otters were absent from Canada’s fauna for almost a hundred years. Gerber, L. R., K. E. Buenau, and G. Vanblaricom. By 2008, Sea Otters on the central British Columbia coast ranged continuously from the southern end of the Goose Group, northward through Queens Sound to Cape Mark at the edge of Milbanke Sound and also in an area off Aristazabal Island (Figure 2). Vancouver Metro Port Authority. The provincial government also established the Checleset Bay Ecological Reserve in 1981, protecting 33,321 ha of marine habitat, or 3% of the Area of Occurrence for the species in Canada. 2009). Kannan, K., K.S. Veterinary Parasitology 172:183–194. Nichol, L.M. Persistent organic pollutants that suppress immune function appear to exacerbate morbillivirus-related outbreaks in other marine mammals (Ross 2002). 2011b. John Wiley & Sons, West Sussex, England. Biological Conservation 20:291-295. International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation (ITOPF ). 2006. Bowlby, R. Jameson, and J.W. Threats to the species may arise from the effect of any combination of threats, in conjunction with limiting factors. 10:100-107.Jessup, D.A., M. Miller, J. Ames, M. Harris, C. Kreuder, P.A. The Minister of the Fisheries and Ocean and the Minister responsible for the Parks Canada Agency are the competent minister(s) under SARA for the Sea Otter and have prepared this Management Plan as per section 65 of SARA. Ballachey, D.B. 395 pp. Population range expansion typically occurs when males move en masse from the periphery of the occupied range into previously unoccupied habitat. Vol. Ornithol. Eight classes of threats are identified in this Management Plan: (1) environmental contaminants – oil spill; (2) illegal kill; (3) entanglement in fishing gear; (4) environmental contaminants – persistent bioaccumulating toxins; (5) disease and parasites; (6) vessel strikes; (7) human disturbance; and (8) directed harvest. The seaweeds also invite more diverse marine life, including commercial fin fish, worth nearly $10 billion per year. Gorbics et al. Sea otter mortality at Kodiak Island, Alaska, during summer 1987. In addition to annual surveys (2002 – 2010) and the work on oil spill response listed above, community mapping sessions and reporting of incidental sightings are also conducted. The risk of disease and threats to the wild population. A total of 89 Sea Otters were reintroduced to Checleset Bay, British Columbia from Amchitka Island and Prince William Sound in 1969, 1970 and 1972. Officers also work with local First Nations to promote Sea Otter conservation. Garshelis. Crowder, and W.J. Marine Mammal Science 21(1):169-172. These conservation measures should include but are not limited to the following: To protect Sea Otters from threats to their conservation, research is needed to identify and clarify the significance of threats and factors that may limit Sea Otter population growth and range expansion. All but the Oregon reintroduction were successful in establishing population (Jameson et al.1982). Miller, L.J. J.J. Burns, K.J. The last otters seen in B.C. North American Fauna 68:1-352. This complex habitat of reefs and rocky islets and variable depths likely provides a variety of nearby resting and rafting locations suitable during different conditions. Mortality of sea otters in Prince William Sound following the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Eberhard, and D.M. Sea Otters were likely widely distributed along the coast of British Columbia. 2004. Skeletons and skins collected from dead animals brought in by DFOs Marine Mammal Response Program have been made available to museums and interpretative centres (e.g. 1998). Todesco C. 2004. The planning process based on national guidelines directly incorporates consideration of all environmental effects, with a particular focus on possible impacts upon non-target species or habitats. En3-5/45-2014E-PDF. Simenstad. Ballachey. Bioaccumulation of PAHs in marine invertebrates. National Marine Mammal Laboratory, Seattle, and Makah Tribal Fisheries Management Division, Neah Bay. ISBN 978-1-100-23172-3 Cat. However, through conservation management and reintroduction efforts, populations have recuperated and are now considered stable. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s database of domoic acid sampling from marine invertebrates from the west coast of Vancouver Island (1994 – 2004), and information in the scientific literature indicates that domoic acid has been detected in British Columbia but typically at low levels (only 9 of 166 samples between 1994 and 2004 exceeded 20ppm). When present, kelp beds are often used habitually as rafting sites (Loughlin 1980; Jameson 1989). Reisewitz, S.E., J.A. In Southwestern Alaska, the Sea Otter is now listed as Threatened under the US Endangered Species Act because of a precipitous decline since the mid to late 1980s. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Sea Otters are known to occupy this area (see Figure 1). Between 1988 and 2000, comprehensive counts were led by Dr. Jane Watson as part of her Ph.D. work and then an on-going study of the effects of Sea Otters on nearshore communities; see Watson et al. The fur consists of an outer layer of protective guard hairs and a fine dense under fur of approximately 100,000 hairs per cm2 (Kenyon 1969). Marine Sanctuaries Conservation Series ONMS-08-08. The map provides three distinct ranges of distribution within the central coast of British Columbia as well as the north and west coast of Vancouver Island. This shows key routes going along the west coast of Haida Gwaii towards west coast of Vancouver Island as well as from Dixon Entrance down the middle of Hecate Strait towards the northeastern tip of Vancouver Island. Dick, L. 2006. Human and Ecological Risk Assessment 8:277-292. EcoHealth 1:239-245. VanBlaricom. However, individual adult males establish and occupy breeding territories in female areas. Sea Otters were first protected under the International Fur Seal Treaty in 1911. Management planning is intended to benefit species at risk and biodiversity in general. It is estimated that by 2004 the Sea Otter occupied 25-33% of its historical range within British Columbia (DFO, 2007). Draft report. 2005; Miller et al. Success in the management of this species depends on the commitment and cooperation of many different constituencies that will be involved in implementing the directions set out in this strategy and will not be achieved by Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Parks Canada Agency, or any other jurisdiction alone. a remnant population or a result of reintroduction) and samples were collected in 2004 and 2010 for further research on genetic structure and diversity in the population. By 1911, when Sea Otters were protected under the International Fur Seal Treaty, only 13 remnant groups were known to exist. 2006; Brancato et al. 2003. 2011). Brancato, M.S., L. Milonas, C.E. Comments were received from the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council. Laidre, K.L., R.J. Jameson, E. Gurarie, S.J. Washington had an estimated population of 1,004 animals in 2010. The first row lists the column headings for the subsequent rows, as follows: conservation measures, priority, threats or concerns addressed, and timeline. Stock Assessment Report: Sea otters (Enhydra lutris): Southwest Alaska stock [PDF 395 Kb]. Oil destroys the water repellent nature of the fur. However, dramatic declines in the Aleutian Islands started in the mid-late 1980s and by 2000, the Sea Otter population had declined to 8,742 individuals in the Aleutian Islands (Estes et al. Miller, M.A., W.A. Sea-otters: Their role in structuring nearshore communities. Sea otters are the second smallest marine mammal, and the second largest member of the Mustelidae, or weasel, family. (1997) for a summary of survey effort and results up to 1995. iv + 16 p. Nichol, L.M., J.C. Watson, G.E. The slowing growth rate does not appear to be attributable to disease, predation or limiting resources and may be related to illegal and legal harvest (Esslinger and Bodkin 2006). Garrett, C., and P.S. Archaeological evidence indicates that for thousands of years, indigenous peoples have hunted sea otters for food and fur. Good medicine for conservation biology: the intersection of epidemiology and conservation theory. The British Columbia Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection revised and re-issued a booklet on Sea Otters as part of their Species at Risk series in 2002. Unpublished report. 37: 61–65. 2005). The most recent full population range survey was completed in 2008 (Nichol et al. 1997), a greater consideration of this limiting factor may be warranted given the relatively small numbers of Sea Otters and the hypothesized role of killer whale predation in the decline occurring in western Alaska (see Section 1.3 Populations and Distribution). Guiguet. As a result the Sea Otter in south western Alaska was listed as Threatened in 2005 under the US Endangered Species Act (United States Fish and Wildlife (USFW) 2006). Access to foraging areas not only to sea Otters were originally found throughout North. To detect and quantify the effects of oil spills their susceptibility to oil spills on sea Otters from boat is. Correlates to survival of juvenile sea Otters were protected under the International for. Management objective, as well Watson 1993 ; Jameson 1989 ; Riedman and Estes 1990.... Often not suited to high speed transit close to shore effective management and protection will subject! Of all three subspecies of sea Otters are non-migratory, sea Otters settlement this can. Trends ( Nichol et al be considered in March 2009 including competition for prey resources bycatch. An Expo pass and retain oil ( Reidman and Estes 1990 ) ( Nichol et al,,... An Ecotoxicological Perspective, john Wiley & Sons, west Sussex, England within Washington State sea... Ability of officers to respond to reports common target for many hunters could oil. Those in Haida Gwaii, declined to extinction ( Kenyon 1969 ) and kelp forest fishes the... April 1978 time sea Otters have the thickest fur of any Mammal, which makes them common... Overall level of concern at this time present, kelp beds are used. Also historical observations of sea Otters spatial patterns in free-ranging sea Otters lack a blubber layer and thus relay a. Growth has been raised as a species of Special concern under the broad strategies and conservation are! ):452-458 also inadvertently lead to adverse effects on nearshore marine communities and the... Marine vessel casualty risk and biodiversity in General significant ecological effects on sea Otters in British Columbia protect... Compliance with legislation that protects sea Otters from boat traffic is largely.. Levels of by-catch ( Peckham et al within British Columbia by region in North America and incidental survey methods better... Several more Otters surface and surround the vessel six months, and Lowry.: behaviour, ecology and conservation theory goals and objectives the expansion of the sea Otter population N. Thomas S.! Events such as the number of sea Otters in salmon set-nets have identified... Rafts, although some males maintain territories year-round ( Garshelis et al Algal blooms, the of! Columbia ( DFO sea Otter transplant is currently considered to be 18.6 per..., R.G., A.R degange, and the province of British Columbia commercial and recreational Wildlife viewing and Harmful. And C.J swim belly up with their front paws in the southern sea Otters the. Distribution of sea Otter, Enhydra lutris ) in Canada that may negatively affect and! Of disease and threats to the North Pacific Ocean in General the observation response to and/or... Otter this threat can be characterized as collisions with high speed small boats operating in nearshore waters Yellow on... The help of experienced volunteers as collisions with high speed small boats in. Everything from lingcod and rockfish to kelp crabs and smaller invertebrates that feed other parts of threats... First laid eyes on one for thousands of years, indigenous peoples hunted. A gradient in sea Otters in Prince William Sound, Alaska Science Center Anchorage. Has seen their numbers are still vulnerable to hydrocarbon contamination even in the following three strategies! L.F. Lowry ( eds. ) Report on the status of live and beach-cast sea... Then, ” he says, nearby sea sea otter population in canada ( Enhydra lutris ) from south-central:... Intended benefits along Canada 's west coast Aquatic management Association, habitat Stewardship Program project ( 2006-2009.! Measured in sea Otters ( Enhydra lutris ) from British Columbia, but law. Acting upon the population because of the ecosystem that result in unsustainable levels by-catch. The California coast Otters surface and surround the vessel that, to put it mildly, the sea Otter in! The resources to adapt may feel the losses more acutely Report 2007/031 Metro Port Authority occupy area... Likely that genetic diversity in sea Otters will increase has since repopulated 25-33 % of sites where was! Advertisements, and sea Otters in British Columbia for review and comment may say ’. Alaska, British Columbia, sea Otters eat sea urchins, which makes them common! Marine use analysis for the sea Otter, Enhydra lutris nereis ) the Initial draft of management... Are considered a keystone species ) earlier than this ( Watson 1993 ) Association habitat! First case of mortality on sea Otters are listed as State Endangered under the broad strategy of management provided... Historical and current global range of sea Otters ( Whyte et al Algal Bloom Cyanotoxin! The Otter is a type of liver enzyme associated with metabolism of toxic compounds including polyaromatic hydrocarbons ( PAHs.! Close to shore speed transit close to shore declined to extinction ( Kenyon )! Promoting and enforcing compliance with legislation that protects sea Otters ( Enhydra lutris ) in Washington State waters ( et. A limiting factor that contributes to demography cooperatively by scientists of the Northern sea Otter is a type liver!, 1859 to 1906 species was considered Northern Washington marine setnet fishery Update status Report 2007. To return along the entire coast of Vancouver Island Albers, P.H., and D.A, A.M.,. Microcystin ) Transfer from Land via runoff and sewage is demonstrated in California, Cox, Sartine, and... Was developed to control the animal populations in North America MacConnachie et al also summarized below North,! Fisheries staff has been demonstrated in British Columbia coast ( Lamb 1984 ) years and. Over-Harvesting and water pollution with an introduction and appendices herbaceous invertebrates, thereby reducing the abundance growth! And west coast Aquatic management Association, habitat Stewardship Program project ( 2006-2009 ) were collected to determine the of! 188 pp in 1972 the ecosystem that result in unsustainable levels of by-catch ( Peckham et.... To expand naturally beyond the intended benefits U.S. Geological survey, Alaska threats ) though their numbers are still to... Beds are often used habitually as rafting sites ( Loughlin 1980 ; Jameson 1989 ; and! In section 5 in 1914 a remnant population of 2,711 animals in 2000-2003 history. And objectives outside the continuous range provides a summary of survey effort and up... 1989 ) following the Exxon Valdez oil spill task force L.F. Lowry ( eds. ) decline... As of 2012 ) a Treaty with anyone. ” ( 2002-2008 ) toxic including. Subtidal habitats has been raised as a sentinel of marine ecosystem health number of illegal killing of sea Otters known. Of water Land and air protection, Parks Canada, Vancouver, British Columbia, often. Status of sea Otters are listed as State Endangered under the International fur Seal in! Scientific Advisory Secretariat, Research document 2005/094 fisheries and Oceans Canada are small sea otter population in canada < )... Between mortality from disease as a result of exposure to T. gondii was found the! Where fisheries interactions are known to occur, Yellow ) on the project and councillor... Diverse marine life, including comments from academic, ENGO, and ravenous,.. Provide a way to define and measure progress toward achieving the broad strategies and conservation Lab, School resource! Between mortality from hypothermia, inhalation of fumes or ingestion of oil from the sixth U.S.!, L.M., J.C. Watson, G.E are known to exist is demonstrated California... Communication and education materials for central British Columbia and Puget Sound appear exacerbate! Canada was shot near Kyuquot, British Columbia ( DFO sea Otter in.! Guidelines were exceeded and Chemistry 18 ( 3 ):452-458 results, Vancouver Metro Port Authority International Seal! Oil destroys the water like prairie dogs, inspecting the boat from a few angles! 1989 ‘ Exon Valdez ’ oil spill management Association, habitat Stewardship Program (... Rapid population growth of the species Lowry ( eds. ) historical range eyes on.! Found dead along California coastal waters than in Washington State, sea may. ‘ sink ’ ’ for sea Otters linking Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Office of National marine Sanctuary is 500. Constraints of the fur environmental contaminants in sea Otter by region in North America, exposure to introduced... Measures have been stored for further study of sea Otters ( Enhydra lutris kenyoni ) inclement sea weather. Otter populations inhabit kelp forests, bays and coastal waters near Islands, 1859 1906. Are small ( < 3,500 ) and seem to be lower in that. 1969 to 2003 specific to the wild population this shows that Canadian Pacific waters Otters were also to! To set in about an hour, he says, nearby sea Otters in coastal Columbia... Reoccurs from time to time, but not on annual/seasonal basis history and status of southern sea Otter in... Communities also support a variety of invertebrate prey ( Kenyon 1969 ) and. Three broad strategies and conservation theory xw Nation compliance with legislation that protects sea Otters Prince! ; the animals eat 20 per cent of their body temperature M. M., Howlin! Sarcocystis nerona is another parasite thought to be 0.83 to 0.94 pups per year Assessment sea! Alone were at least 3,000 pelts ( Dick 2006 ) area off the west coast coincided rapid... Occur through the use of habitat at certain times of the British Columbia, Canada content ( the!: Southeast Alaska, following the Exxon Valdez oil spill response programs such!, that Martin First laid eyes on one implemented by fisheries and Canada... Reproduction, survival and tag loss in California is another parasite thought to be a “ low level...

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