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SEA OTTERS Life and Death. Major Objectives. Sea otter evolution Relationship between sea otter and man Sea otter’s role as a keystone predator Sea otters and kelp forests Sea otter futures. Evolution of today’s sea otter. 2 million years ago… Enhydra lutris. Humans like sea otters .

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major objectives
Major Objectives

Sea otter evolution

Relationship between sea otter and man

Sea otter’s role as a keystone predator

Sea otters and kelp forests

Sea otter futures

evolution of today s sea otter
Evolution of today’s sea otter
  • 2 million years ago…Enhydra lutris
a simple and complex life
A simple and complex life
  • Food, shelter, breed, avoid being eaten
otters love urchins
Otters love urchins
  • There are kelp forests because there are otters
kelp forest stability
Kelp forest stability
  • Human hunting changes the kelp forest structure
the first otter kill
The first otter kill
  • 8-9000 ya, otters become an easy target
russians get lost in alaska
Russians get lost in Alaska
  • Russians discover Alaskan wildlife in 1741
sea cow is easy meat
Sea cow is easy meat
  • Last few thousand steller’s sea cows on the planet have a hard time of it
sea otter genocide
Sea otter genocide
  • Otters previously only hunted for warmth and food
the massacre continues
The massacre continues
  • Demand for otter fur grows throughout the world
the process of skinning
The process of skinning

The fleshy pieces still attached to the fur are scraped off delicately so as not to cut into the fur

what the otters used fur for
What the otters used fur for…
  • Otters can spend 50% of daylight hours cleaning their fur
a daily life of peril
A daily life of peril

Otters can die from the cold

the last of the otters
The last of the otters
  • 150 years after excessive hunting, people realize a mistake has been made
otters repopulate the world
Otters repopulate the world
  • Miraculously, otter population has not been too far reduced for regrowth
otter death still occurs
Otter death still occurs
  • Aleutians demand cultural hunting rights back
ignorant violence
Ignorant violence
  • Californians deliberately murder protected sea otters
otters are loved
Otters are loved
  • Despite rare deaths, otters now cherished in many parts of the world
a new threat emerges
A new threat emerges
  • In 1991, first killer whale attack on Alaskan otter is witnessed
otter killer
Otter killer
  • 3 killer whales, 3-6 otters a day, ten years
whale killer
Whale killer
  • The reasons why
solutions to the problem
Solutions to the problem
  • No solution except the impossible
a great fall
A great fall
  • Whales, seals, sea lions, sea otters
the threat of extinction
The threat of extinction
  • Can the sea otter still go extinct?
rise and fall
Rise and fall
  • The sea otter’s life history has been shaped by human greed
sea otter today
Sea otter today
  • A different relationship currently exists