Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Science Briefing

Critical sea otter habitat protected

October 10, 2009|Times Staff and Wire Reports

Four years after the dwindling sea otters of southwest Alaska were placed on the Endangered Species List, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service designated nearly 5,900 square miles as critical habitat for otters in the Aleutian Islands, Bering Sea and Alaska Peninsula.

Near-shore areas were chosen because most of the creatures that sea otters eat -- sea urchins, crabs, octopuses and some bottom fish -- are found in shallow waters, which also provide the best protection from marine predators.

About 90% of the world's sea otters are in Alaska waters. There were more than 100,000 sea otters in southwest Alaska in the 1970s, but there are fewer than 40,000 now.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|