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CENTER for BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY Because life is good
ABOUT ACTION PROGRAMS SPECIES NEWSROOM PUBLICATIONS SUPPORT

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ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT PROFILE

PROTECTION STATUS: Threatened

YEAR PLACED ON LIST: 1977 (southern sea otter); 2005 (southwest Alaska population of northern sea otter)

CRITICAL HABITAT: None

RECOVERY PLAN: Southern sea otter, approved 2003; northern sea otter, none

RANGE: Off the coasts of California, Washington, Canada, Alaska, Russia, and Japan

THREATS: Bycatch from commercial fisheries, predation by killer whales in unbalanced ecosystems, oil spills, and pollution

POPULATION TREND: Sea otters once numbered several hundred thousand. Yet the northern population has shrunk to approximately 6,000 individuals and is still dwindling. Though gradually recovering, the southern population today numbers around 2,300.

Photo © Don Getty