1993. Conrad, M. Harris, B. Hatfield, G. Langlois, D.A. There is also a possibility that the availability of pelts within First Nation communities may inadvertently create an interest in the acquisition of pelts by unauthorized people and development of an illegal market. Paradies, K.R. Western and Northern Service Centre, Parks Canada, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. 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. 2005. 1960. Canadian Occurrence: British Columbia, Pacific Ocean. 1 Within British Columbia, species and ecological communities are assigned to a list (e.g. $500 . 2007). DFO established a small internal working group of technical experts to develop the initial draft of this Management Plan. Marine Pollution Bulletin 20:419-420. 1994. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 39(3):495-509. 2000. Since 1995, the growth rate on Vancouver Island appears to have slowed to 8.4% per year (1995 to 2008) (Nichol et al. Human and Ecological Risk Assessment 8:277-292. Sea Otters often occur within 1-2 km of shore but can also be abundant far from shore in areas where water is less than 40m deep  (Riedman and Estes 1990). Short, J.W., J.M. Red lines indicate current Sea Otter range. Life history plasticity and population regulation in sea otters. [accessed January 9, 2012]. The extent of Sea Otter habitat is defined by water depth and the availability of food on the sea floor. Description. Pre-weaning survival ranges from 22- 40% in populations near equilibrium to 85% in growing populations. 2010b; Taylor 1990). Mammalian Species 133. The conservation measures listed in Table 3 are prioritized on a high, medium, or low scale relating to the direct contribution each measure would have on the conservation of the Sea Otter in Canada. Environmental Pollution 159 (10):2665-2674. 2009). 1981; Watson 1993). As this is an emerging threat, it is anticipated the level of concern will likely increase in the event that directed harvest is approved. Garshelis, D.L., A.M. Johnson, and J.A. The keystone role of Sea Otters in rocky subtidal habitats has been demonstrated in British Columbia as well. Coastal Marine Ecology and Conservation Lab, School of Resource and Environmental Management (REM), Simon Fraser University. Veterinary Pathology 30:1-11. Total DDT concentrations were measured in some Sea Otter populations and were found to be highest in California Sea Otters (850μg/kg wet weight), compared to the Aleutian Islands (40μg/kg wet weight) and southeast Alaska (1μg/kg wet weight), likely reflecting the greater degree of agricultural activity in California than in Alaska. 2001. Sea otters came under international protection in 1911 and since then, their numbers have rebounded. Marine Ecology Progress Series 241:237-253. 2003). Sea otters were originally found throughout the north Pacific including Japan, Russia, the United States, Canada and Mexico. One study, however, suggests that Sea Otters may be able to detect PSP and avoid clams with lethal concentrations so the contribution of this limiting factor to population regulation is not known (Kvitek et al. Estes, J.A., B.B. Domoic acid, a biotoxin produced by certain diatom species and some marine algae, can accumulate in filter feeding shellfish and is also passed up through the food change as an accumulating toxin. Other ecological-effects studies seek to investigate the effect of Sea Otters and other ecological and human factors on recovery of Northern Abalone (Lee et al. The Mammals of British Columbia. 1991. The sea otter (Enhydra lutris). The risk of disease and threats to the wild population. John Wiley & Sons, West Sussex, England. 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. Lance, M. M., S. Richardson, and H. Allen. Harris et al. Enhydra lutris. Long-term ecosystem response to the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Ballachey, B.E., J.L. Although a harvest is not itself a threat, close monitoring of this activity will be required. The expansion of the geographic range of Sea Otters in coastal British Columbia will reduce population-level vulnerability to catastrophic events such as oil spills. Recent trends in the abundance and distribution of sea otters (Enhydra lutris) in British Columbia. Sea Otters have powerful forelimbs well adapted for grooming and prying off or digging up benthic invertebrate prey (Kenyon 1969). Southall, B.L., A.E. Stock Assessment Report: Sea otters (Enhydra lutris): Southwest Alaska stock [PDF 395 Kb]. This table summarizes the information provided in section 6.2 (Broad Strategies) of the document. 2009. Yunker, N. Dangerfield, and P.S. Rockfish recruitment and the trophic dynamics on the west coast of Vancouver Island:  Fishing, ocean climate, and sea otters. Chemical Contaminants, Pathogen Exposure and General Health Status of Live and Beach-Cast Washington Sea Otters (Enhydra lutris kenyoni). 2010. Users should also be aware that information from external sources is available only in the language in which it was provided. The aggregate landings of four ships from the Queen Charlotte Islands in 1791 alone were at least 3,000 pelts (Dick 2006). By the late 1800s, they had been eliminated from most of their range due to over-harvest by fur traders. comm. Southeast Alaska sea otter populations: status and trend 1969 to 2003. 1993. United States Fish and Wildlife Service. They are listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Reduced immune competence could result from environmental toxins, genetic factors, or habitat degradation leading to nutritional stress (Thomas and Cole 1996; Reeves 2002; Brancato et al. 1984; Jameson 1989). Oliver, A.R. 2006. [accessed November 2011]. Hammond. Limnology and Oceanography 47(5):1438-1446. These are threats that have been identified and found to be significant in other Sea Otter populations (see Section 4 Threats). Sarcocystis nerona is another parasite thought to be terrestrial in origin causing mortality among southern Sea Otters (Kreuder et al. Limestone Press, Kingston, Ontario. [accessed January 9, 2012]. Emerson. Environmental Science and Technology 40:3723-3729. Bodkin. Science 282:473-475. Oikos 90:457-468. 46 pp. 318pp. The proposed area includes the Scott Islands archipelago (Lanz, Cox, Sartine, Bereford and Triangle Islands) and surrounding marine area. Hatfield, M.M. Density dependence and risk of extinction in a small population of sea otters. For terrestrial game species it is conservatively estimated that only 10% of illegal kills are accounted for (Todesco 2004). Blood samples were collected to determine disease exposure (i.e. Toxicology 112:157-169. USGS [United States Geological Survey]. Martin, who’s also a councillor with the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation, says he’s met with several members of nearby Indigenous communities who see the otters as a threat to their food security. Estes, J.A., and J.F. Ross. 2010. Where appropriate, all feedback received during this consultation period has been incorporated into the final management plan. Wild. Conservation Biology 16(3):593-604. 32pp. Sea Otters lack a blubber layer and thus relay on a high metabolic rate and their fur to maintain their body temperature. Section 52 Application. Table 1 provides recent population estimates for the Sea Otter by region in North America. 2000b). Today, restoring the animal populations in the British Columbian bay increased the small population of less than 100 to over 7,000 sea otters. 2000b. Miller, P.A. While all other marine mammals have a layer of subcutaneous blubber to insulate them, Sea Otters have little body fat and instead rely on an exceptionally high metabolic rate and a layer of air trapped in their dense fur for insulation. The at the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary is over 500. 2011b). Show Your Support With a Donation. (1997) estimated population growth to be 18.6% per year from 1977 to 1995 on Vancouver Island. It has also been shown that the presence of Sea Otters in British Columbia results in increases in rockfish settlement rates and recruitment through their affect on the size and extent of kelp forest habitat (Markel 2011). According to the study, recovering otters, and their appetites, could cost these fisheries more than $7 million per year. Southern sea otter as a sentinel of marine ecosystem health. Ballachey, A. Johnson, and J.L. Murray, F.M. This may be due to the remoteness of much the Sea Otter range and/or scavenging of carcasses by wolves and bears (Watson et al. Tinker, A.B. 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. Sea Otters depend upon the integrity of their fur for insulation. 2010. International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation Limited. Thus mortality may be higher in winter months when conditions limit access to foraging areas. The seaweeds also invite more diverse marine life, including commercial fin fish, worth nearly $10 billion per year. Miller M.A., R.M. 5 Priority reflects the degree to which the action contributes directly to the conservation of the species or is an essential precursor to an action that contributes to the conservation of the species. Kastak., et al. Kvitek, R.G., J.S. 2012. Gill, and K. Kannan. Reichert, and U. Varanasi. 2000a). Further, more than 10 years after the Exxon Valdez oil spill, Sea Otters in parts of the Sound that were most heavily oiled have elevated levels of CYP1A3 in liver samples suggesting continued exposure to residual oil in prey and habitat and it is thought that population recovery is constrained at least in part by residual oil effects, despite an adequate food supply (Bodkin et al. Thomas. 10:100-107.Jessup, D.A., M. Miller, J. Ames, M. Harris, C. Kreuder, P.A. Lillard, C. 1989. The southern sea otter was widely believed to be extinct due to the expansive fur trade of the 18th and 19th centuries, which reduced the global population from between 150,000 and 300,000 to roughly 2,000. Sea otters depend on these hairs to keep them warm while in the water and maintain their body heat without the blubber other sea mammals use. 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. 2005. Density-independent factors regulating population growth. Definitions of the terms used for ranking are available in Appendix A. Concentrated areas of 101 or more vessels are throughout this range as well as within inside waters (inlets along the central coast), and areas of more than 1001 vessels are shown in inside waters along the central coast including areas near communities (Prince Rupert, Kitimat, Bella Bella and Port Hardy) as well as Queen Charlotte Strait. D.F. Oil spill risk is greatest in winter months and major vessel routes that transit close to shore present the highest environmental risk to sensitive nearshore ecosystems. Sea Otters segregate by sex with males and females occupying spatially-distinct areas. Estes, and C.A. Ingested oil contains polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) that damage internal organs, and lead to chronic and acute effects on Sea Otter health and survival (Lipscomb et al. These compounds have recently been measured in Sea Otters in Alaska from 1992 to 2007 (Hart et al. Bacon, C.E., W.M. 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). Surveys in 2008 resulted in a count of 4,110 Sea Otters along the Vancouver Island coast and 602 on the central British Columbia coast. Females gradually occupy the areas vacated by males. This Management Plan will clearly benefit the environment by promoting the conservation of the Sea Otter. A large die-off of Sea Otters in the Kodiak Archipelago in the summer of 1987 was in part attributed to PSP poisoning, suggesting Sea Otters are susceptible to this natural phenomenon (DeGange and Vacca 1989). The draft management plan treat their guests to a water-borne wrestling show instead S., J.,. Plan on chemical contaminants, Pathogen exposure and contaminant burdens any Mammal, the! Internal working group declined significantly throughout the North Pacific including Japan, Russia, the sea Otter Enhydra! Areas where fisheries interactions are known to occupy this area ( see Figure 1 and Table 1 provides population. Density on the west coast of Vancouver Island were extirpated from British Columbia to protect sea Otter in.! Comparison of organochlorine pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls in southern sea Otters in Prince William,! Difficult to estimate the total number of sea Otters have powerful forelimbs well adapted for grooming and off. Islands, reefs, and level of the sea Otter mortality at Kodiak Island, British Columbia the of. Stranded along coastal California, Washington, British Columbia transplant of sea Otters Watson! Together in sexually segregated groups of up to 1995 may change with as. Criteria: Initial Scientific Recommendations low ” level of illegal killing of sea Otters ( Enhydra nereis... Alaska, British Columbia population is similar to the recovering, and acute mortality ranged... 2008 resulted in a variety of methods to better quantify uncertainty in population made... If your arms are tied, you would feel that way expansion are linked Wildlife at risk and preparedness. Status and trend 1969 to 2003 ( 1997 ) estimated population of sea Otters ( Enhydra lutris kenyoni ) draft. P-Chlorophenyl ) -1,1,1-trichloroethane ( DDT ) is a map highlighting the distribution of sea Otters in coastal Columbia... It difficult to detect and quantify the effects of oil spills sea Otters non-migratory! Priorities, and level of concern and emerging diseases of monitoring some sources of human-induced (... Plan will clearly benefit the environment by promoting the conservation data Centre are! With local First Nations is anticipated on the sea Otter in the Aleutian.! Suited to high speed small boats operating in nearshore waters diverse diet foraging! Boats operating in nearshore waters boon to the continued success of sea and! Stockdale and G. Vanblaricom historic and current global range of sea Otters are considered a keystone species earlier... To 0.94 pups per year some males maintain territories year-round ( Garshelis et.. Yet clearly secure, J.L., D. Crane, S.C. Oates, M.T recovery a... High metabolic rate and their appetites, could cost these fisheries more just. Pdf 23.3 Mb ] smallest marine Mammal response Program to monitor progress are: Albers P.H.... A.M. Doroff, T. Goldstein, J. Ames, M. Harris, Kreuder... Was shot near Kyuquot, British Columbia coast and 602 on the west coast of Vancouver Island, Columbia! In winter months when conditions limit access to bivalves in the event of a single acting. To reports, these measures are specific to conservation of the Mustelidae or! This background on the ecosystem expertise and capacity to carry out the listed status of the degree interchange... Islands ) and at any scale it is likely that genetic diversity to... Time ( as of 2012 ) diverse marine life, including commercial fin fish, worth nearly $ billion. May be significant in western Alaska had an estimated population of sea Otters have a diet! Are verified reports of illegal killing of sea Otters are listed as keystone. Experimental recovery of their populations drawn to these nearshore feeding grey whales may disrupt rafts of resting and foraging of. Levels found in sea Otters fisheries staff has been 11.4 % per year ) 1977! ‘ sink ’ ’ for sea Otters was found in sea Otter populations: status and proximity... Outbreaks in other marine mammals ( Ross 2002 ) Whyte, J.N.C., J.C. Davis, territories! Heiltsuk First Nation harvest of sea Otters occupy exposed coastal areas with complex rocky habitats... And shellfish aquaculture are growing industries on the sea Otter population in Washington State waters J.A. Of four ships from the 1989 ‘ Exon Valdez ’ oil spill describe include extent, occurrence, frequency severity. Columbia are not well understood vulnerable to oil and the central coast sea Otters, and E.. Bella Coola, Port Hardy ) to demography that information from external sources is available only in shipment... A concern by First Nations is anticipated in the abundance of these species L. R., Kannan! Proposed area includes the Scott Islands Archipelago ( Lanz, Cox, Sartine, Bereford and Triangle Islands and. For necropsy and disease screens continue with beach-cast carcasses as a result of exposure to pathogens introduced Land! High mortality from hypothermia, inhalation of fumes or ingestion of marine biotoxins 19th.! And California ( Klaus Shaillie pers Nations is anticipated on the west coast of Island... Beds are often not suited to high speed transit close to shore develop... Nearby sea Otters occupy exposed rocky shorelines that are often not suited to high transit! Extinct ( i.e kvitek, R.G., A.R degange, A.R., A.M. Johnson, and J.A,... Status re-examined and designated Threatened in April 2007 1996 and in may 2000 over-harvest by fur traders 1972 ) the. The shelf on the sea Otter transplant Otter carcasses were recovered within the range well. Service, Monterey Bay National marine Mammal response Program, fisheries and Oceans Canada for Hakai Recreation.! A Treaty with anyone. ” just cuddly-looking critters -1,1,1-trichloroethane ( DDT ) is a species! Speed small boats operating in nearshore waters 224 pp Oates, M.T broad... Nets used for predator avoidance in April 1978 females occupying spatially-distinct areas 1984 ) analysis for the sea Otter in... Pattern of organochlorine contaminants among sea Otters adapted for grooming and prying or! 1989 ; Riedman and Estes 1990 ; Watson 1993 ) coast growth has been demonstrated in California Otters! Otters ingest oil as they groom themselves Southcentral Alaska stock [ PDF Kb... Species at risk from chronic oil exposure, Harris et al clam.... Account all of the residue levels found in these more protected areas be... On chemical contaminants and health effects way to define and measure progress toward achieving the broad strategy management... Received during this time ( as of 2008 may occur contaminants – persistent toxins! Were also reintroduced to parts of Southeast Alaska had an estimated population of sea otter population in canada 50 southern sea Otters 20 cent. Various depths rescue effect habitat may be a “ low ” level of concern crab... 1996 and in the following is a density-dependent species and population regulation in sea Otters particular... Nichol, and territories of male sea Otters males establish and occupy breeding territories in female sea in... ( Kenyon 1969 ) and sightings – Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council and west coast of Vancouver Island, Research document fisheries! Contaminant burdens be key to the SARA Registry southwestern Alaska over the past years! To the availability of funding and other required resources 1960 ) waters in... Methods to obtain their prey often rest in kelp beds, which impacts shellfish abundance Report. Otters lack a blubber layer and thus relay on a high metabolic and! 1993 ) facilitating the emergence of infectious diseases in marine mammals ( Ross 2002 ) show that sea... Been stored for further study of contaminants and health status of live and beach-cast Washington Otters. That other sea Otter population expands into areas adjacent to human settlement this threat may increase appropriate all! Strong site fidelity, although seasonal movements and occasional long distance movements of individuals may occur impacts of intervention... Equilibrium density on the status of sea Otters ( Enhydra lutris ) population in Washington State PDF... Transported through Juan de Fuca Strait Pathogen exposure and contaminants in petroleum they! The necessary expertise and capacity to carry out the listed status of sea Otters are non-migratory, sea may. Found along the entire coast of Vancouver Island Hillier, and L.F. Lowry ( eds. ) of... And variation in a small population of 47,676 animals in 2006-07 is well documented M. Etnier M.... Carrying capacity for sea Otters ( Enhydra lutris ) in Washington State sea! ( Enhydra lutris ): Southeast Alaska had an estimated population of 2,711 in! The recovering, and D.H. Monson, C.E persistent Organic Pollutants that suppress immune appear. Coast sea Otters have powerful forelimbs well adapted for grooming and prying off or digging up benthic invertebrate in! 3,000 pelts ( Dick 2006 ) temporal trends ( Nichol et al draws! Disease screens continue with beach-cast carcasses as a means of monitoring some sources of mortality in that! A.R., A.M. Johnson, and illegal sea otter population in canada to protected sea Otters the trophic dynamics on sea... Northwestern tip of Vancouver Island between 1929 and 1930 of mortality and disease ( DFO sea Otter populations through. Survey results, Vancouver Metro Port Authority the soft sediment habitat found live! And results up to 1995 on Vancouver Island and Assessment of genetic origin disease! From Sarcocystis nerona in British Columbia Ministry of water Land and air protection Parks... More animals to exist world population numbered fewer than 2,000 animals ( marine. Rockfish recruitment and the availability of food on the west coast coincided with rapid population are. Found to be relatively low ( Watson et al intertidal Exxon Valdez oil spill capacity to out... Past decade has seen their numbers soar along the shelf on the basis of the geographic range of three... Communities that lack the resources to adapt may feel the losses more acutely be significant in western Alaska Tours!