Killer whales preying on otters

2010-10-16 14:16

kalahari.com

Anchorage - A report by government scientists identifies killer whales as the No 1 reason there are so few sea otters in southwest Alaska.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service's proposed a five-year, $15m recovery plan for sea otters in the Aleutian Islands considered a slew of possible reasons for the perilously low numbers found in some areas.

The draft recovery plan released this week said there is only one threat considered to have high importance: predation by killer whales, with sharks perhaps being a factor.

Nearly all other factors, including climate change and impacts from humans, were considered to have low importance.

The report said there may be "few actions that can be taken" to mitigate predation by killer whales ". But the sea otter recovery program should search for solutions and be open to novel ideas," the report said.

The southwest Alaska sea otter population, which has declined by more than 90% in some areas, has been listed as threatened since 2005. In 1976, there were an estimated 94 050 to 128 650 sea otters. Now, there are an estimated 53 674 animals, and perhaps fewer.

The recovery plan does identify some other potential threats to sea otters, most importantly the role of disease and whether there is adequate oil-spill response in southwest Alaska.

One hundred years ago, fur harvesting nearly wiped out the world's population of northern sea otters. By the time international treaty protection was granted in 1911, there were fewer than 1 000 sea otters in 13 remnant colonies. They eventually repopulated much of their original habitat.

The southwest Alaska population began its steep decline in the mid-1980s.

If fully implemented, the recovery plan would cost $15m over the next five years. There is a 120-day public comment period.

The plan calls for dozens of actions in five units stretching along more than 1,500 miles of shoreline, from the western Aleutian Islands to Kodiak and the Alaska Peninsula.

Actions include monitoring the population, protecting habitat, managing the impact of human uses and protecting sea otters from human as well as natural threats.

The plan also considers potential threats from biotoxins, contaminants, food limitations, commercial fishing, the subsistence harvest, loss of habitat and illegal take.

- SAPA

Read more on:    animals
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
 

ANCYL: Not voting would be blasphemy

Not voting in the forthcoming elections would be blasphemy, the ANCYL says in a statement commemorating the 50th anniversary of struggle icon Nelson Mandela's Rivonia trial speech.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Nokia N9

The Nokia N9 has a beautiful one-piece, unibody design where...

From R2899.85

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There may be a break through, either through quiet contemplative time to connect to your deep side or forced on you by...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.