Killer whales preying on otters

2010-10-16 14:16
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
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
SPONSORED CONTENT
5 crucial questions to ask before you take that job 2014-10-30 08:00

You choose your employer just as much as they choose you. Here are 5 of the most important things you should find out about a company before you sign up.

/Health
 

LOL! Best outdoor girl fails

It’s not only guys who have FAIL moments! Here are some of the funniest outdoor fails where girls are the victims!

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

90-year-old's incredible travels
10 facts about swimming you didn't know
Halloween night run
Exciting new zipline for Cape Town!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to R2100 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Hot offer: Up to 50% off irons

Save up to 50% on all Philips irons. 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

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There may be some tension that is caused through social conflicts -- personal interests versus obligations. You may feel an...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.