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On my bucket list – Kayak in Monterey Bay to observe wild sea otters up close. This new research effort builds upon existing sea otter distribution and abundance data by using aerial photographic surveys with contemporary modeling methods to develop an adaptive monitoring framework that minimizes model uncertainty and maximizes survey efficiency. Monterey Bay Sea Otters Dive Club. Sea otters are the keystone species of the kelp ecosystem, as well as having a mutualistic relationship with the kelp itself. Their incredible surrogate program, in which stranded pups are cared for by the Aquarium’s resident sea otters, is essential for teaching pups “the skills they need to survive in the wild, like grooming and foraging.” Sea Otters: Adorable, Endangered, and A Keystone Species This cuddly creature is a sea otter, or Enhydra lutris, a well-known marine mammal native to the coasts of the northern and eastern North Pacific Ocean. You can see them close to shore almost any time of year! Protecting keystone species, like sea otters, is a priority for conservationists. The project will provide a foundation for understanding the colonization dynamics of sea otters and their influence on nearshore communities in Glacier Bay National Park. On my bucket list – Kayak in Monterey Bay to observe wild sea otters up close. 2010). California sea otter numbers take a slight dip from last year, but average count exceeds 3,090 for third consecutive year. A California sea otter floats off Moss Landing. Sea otters protect kelp forests from damage by sea urchins. And at the core of individual ecosystems is a creature, or in some cases a plant, known as a keystone species. Often, the extent of the keystone functions of a species aren't known until the species has been removed from its environment and the ecosystem changes. When southern sea otter pups get separated from their mothers in Monterey Bay, California, the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Sea Otter Program comes to the rescue. Sea otters (Enhydra lutris kenyoni) are a keystone species in the North Pacific Ocean that structure the nearshore ecosystem.Sea otters represent an … Kelp forests provide food and shelter for large numbers of fish and shellfish. Lesser known – but wildly important to the health of the ocean – is the world’s entire population of southern (or California) sea otters. Keystone species. People are not sure if sea otter populations will ever fully recover, but hopefully we can learn from this important keystone species for future decisions facing ecosystems all over the world. Virtually the entire sea otter range is contained within the boundaries of Olympic National Park and, for the most part, can only be accessed by hiking from one to several miles. Sea Otter Awarness Week was observed Monday, September 24, 2007 by reintroduction of a preservation bill for the otters by Rep. Sam Farr, D-Carmel. Monterey Bay and Elkhorn Slough are 2 areas with some of the highest concentrations of the California Southern Sea Otter (one of 3 subspecies). These top down influences on prey nearshore prey species can result in changes in community structure including maintaining a more diverse nearshore ecosystem. One of the sea otter's favorite delicacies is the sea urchin who in turn loves kelp. By eating sea urchins in kelp forests and crabs in estuaries, sea otters help keep these ecosystems in balance. In collaboration with the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary among others, SeaOtters.com offers an unprecedented look into the extraordinary life and world of this endearing and threatened species. We also participated in “Otter Days” at the Monterey Bay Aquarium by engaging aquarium visitors and discussing sea otter issues and ways the general public can help ensure the recovery of the species. Watch this great short film to understand more about keystone species: How to tell them apart. California Sea Otters are protected by the Endangered Species Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and California State law. Southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis), also known as California sea otters, have been listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act since 1977. The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary is one of the best places in the world to see seals, sea lions and sea otters. - Monterey Bay Kayaks. What Has Been Done to Fix It. The Fur Trade Sea otters were hunte… But when sea otters decline, urchin numbers explode and grab onto kelp like flies on honey. Moss Landing State Beach and the Elkhorn Slough in Moss Landing are almost always a sure bet to see these cuddly cr… The sea otters were hunted almost to extinction. Using existing studies and modeling of sea otter growth, the researchers concluded that the San Francisco Bay could support about 6,600 sea otters, more than twice the current estimated population of 3,000. You can see them close to shore almost any time of year! But a colony of about fifty were discovered in Big Sur and, from these animals, otters have made a remarkable comeback in California, particularly, in Monterey Bay. 32 Restaurants within 0.3 miles. Their kelp beds recovered and the fish population came back too. Author: Jill Weinlein Date of Trip: July 2016. Sea otters are an iconic species, representing the beauty and diversity of marine life found along California’s coastline. The well known paradigm follows the logic that urchins can eat and destroy entire kelp … When a keystone species is taken out of its environment, the whole system could collapse. Today, in fact, the population hovers around 3,000 individuals, with a large segment of that population in Central California waters. During 2002–2016 we reared 37 orphaned southern sea otter Enhydra lutris nereis pups, using captive sea otters as surrogate mothers, then released them into a degraded coastal estuary. Sea otters are a "keystone species" which means that they can exert top-down pressure via predation on sea urchins, which are grazers upon kelp. Private Tours, Kayaking & Canoeing, Stand-Up Paddleboarding. Monterey Bay Kayaks. Here's our list of the top five places to spot Monterey County's favorite mascot. A Member of the weasel family, the Sea otter can grow up to 4 feet (1.2 m) in length, weighing up to 70 pounds (32 kg), with females being a little smaller than males. One of the sea otter's favorite delicacies is the sea urchin who in turn loves kelp. Sea otters may be North America’s smallest marine mammal, but they have a huge appetite. In California's Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary the sea otter is a keystone species in the kelp forest ecosystem. Kelp also protect coastlines from damaging wave action. By the early 20th century when sea otters were nearly hunted out of existence for their fur, kelp beds disappeared and so did the marine life that depended on kelp. Without the sea otters, in fact, the kelp ecosystem would struggle, probabaly even die. A keystone species is one that is comparatively rare but has a strong influence on its environment. 693 Del Monte Ave, Monterey, CA 93940-2406. Currently the population is estimated at just above 3,000 animals. Find out what effect we have on them and how you can help. Thankfully, due to their high metabolism, sea otters constantly munch on crabs, clams and urchins. (File photo: Vern Fisher/Monterey County Herald, 7/23/04) Dungeness crabs are a holiday tradition every year on tables across Northern California. Best nearby. The NPS Southeast Alaska Inventory & Monitoring Network, Colorado State University, the USGS Alaska Science Center, Glacier Bay National Park, and the NPS Southwest Alaska Inventory & Monitoring Network recently initiated a study to better understand the spatial distribution, abundance, and colonization dynamics of sea otters in Glacier Bay National Park. For more information, please contact Dr. Jamie Womble (jamie_womble@nps.gov). 2010). The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary is one of the best places in the world to see seals, sea lions and sea otters. In collaboration with the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Wharton Media and Explore.org among others, SeaOtters.com offers an unprecedented look into the extraordinary life and world of this endearing and threatened species. CA. Some of the sea otter's preferred prey species, particularly abalone, clams, and crabs, are also food sources for humans. Kelp forests provide food and shelter for large numbers of fish and shellfish. Club dive – Otter Cove – Friday, January 23rd at 8 am. For “key” species in marine sanctuaries (e.g., keystone species, foundation species, indicator species, and other focal species) measures of condition and health can be important in determining the likelihood that these species will persist or recover and continue to provide vital ecosystem functions and services. Thanks to Sea Otters, Kelp Forests Absorb Vast Amounts of CO2 Since the protection of sea otters, populations have increased in areas like Big Sur and Monterey Bay, California, but they still remain an endangered species. This article is about the Southern Sea otter as distinct from its Northern relative. When the otters disappeared, the sea urchin population grew very quickly. This furry, playful fellow is more than just adorable, however. Once the kelp is gone many species disappear with it, thus providing evidence that the sea otter is a vital keystone species. Here are some tips to help you tell them apart. Sea otters (Enhydra lutris) are commonly thought to be the keystone species in kelp forest ecosystems along the west cost of North America, from the Aleutian Islands to California. Monterey Bay Sea Otters Dive Club. Kelp forests provide food and shelter for large numbers of fish and shellfish. Sea otters eat 25% of their body weight each day. One of the results of Dr. Estes’ research was to designate sea otters as a “keystone species”. Prior to 1911, sea otters (Enhydra lutris) were largely extirpated from southeastern Alaska by the Pacific maritime fur trade industry.In 1965, sea otters were translocated from Amchitka Island (Aleutian Islands) to the outer coast of southeastern Alaska and by the early 1990's, small numbers of sea otters were documented at the mouth of Glacier Bay. PO Box 140 Our spirited sea otters came to us as rescued animals and are no longer able to survive in the wild. It belongs to the order Carnivora and the family Mustelidae. Kelp also protect coastlines from damaging wave action. Club dive – Otter Cove – Friday, January 23rd at 8 am ... Butterfly House is located at the intersection of Scenic Road and Stewart Way in Carmel-by- the-Sea.There is a large expensive[…] Read more. Sea otters!!! A recently published study found that sea otters from three sites in Monterey Bay (Santa Cruz, Elkhorn Slough and Monterey) had mean POP levels 5-20 times higher than sea otters from locations in Alaska (Jessup et al. Sea otters are what is known as a keystone species. Elkhorn Slough was the first estuary in California recolonised by sea otters, a process that was greatly accelerated by the release in the slough of 37 otters that had been rescued and rehabilitated by the Monterey Bay Aquarium in the 2000s. January 6, 2021 admin Uncategorized. In collaboration with the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary among others, SeaOtters.com offers an unprecedented look into the extraordinary life and world of this endearing and threatened species. This desire started last year after a trip to the Monterey Aquarium. The well known paradigm follows the logic that urchins can eat and destroy entire kelp beds, leaving a low diversity/productivity urchin barren. In collaboration with the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary among others, SeaOtters.com offers an unprecedented look into the extraordinary life and world of this endearing and threatened species. SANTA CRUZ, Calif.— Southern sea otter numbers have declined off the coast of California since peaking in 2016, but the average population count remains above 3,090 for the third consecutive year. Their incredible surrogate program, in which stranded pups are cared for by the Aquarium’s resident sea otters, is essential for teaching pups “the skills they need to survive in the wild, like grooming and foraging.” SeaOtters.com is home to the world’s first livestream of southern sea otters in the wild. The sea urchins in those areas were brought back into control. Latest Posts. When present in healthy numbers, sea otters keep sea urchin populations in check. Sea otter grooming at the Monterey Bay Aquarium (Photo by Amy Barker) You may have heard of this story as one of the more striking examples of a keystone species at work, or you may know it better as one of the great conservation success stories. They’re also considered a keystone species because of their critical importance to the health and stability of the nearshore marine ecosystem. Because of the critical and outsized influence, they have on … The official website of the Monterey Bay Sea Otters Dive Club! Gradually, their numbers grew, sea urchin numbers declined, and the kelp began to grow again. There is a $20,000 fine and up to a year in prison for anyone caught harassing or harming them so be respectful. Years later, conservationists moved some remaining otters from Big Sur to Central California. In 1911, a treaty was passed to protected the sea otters from hunting. Sea Otters in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary face challenges every day to survive but we do not have to be one of those challenges. These dynamic animals are a keystone species … You may notice colourful tags on some of the otters – since Monterey Bay is a protected marine park, it is also a location where scientific research takes place. CA SEA OTTERS: MONTEREY BAY The southern, or California, sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis) has been listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act since 1977. Gustavus, AK Come dive into the life of a Sea Otter and see what makes them so popular. Sea Otters: A Keystone Species On The Brink _sea_otter_morro_bay_california.jpg (Photo By Mike Baird) Not only are sea otters some of the most fascinating members of the weasel family, they are also some of the smallest marine mammals, with adults weighing in at between thirty and one hundred pounds. In particular, sea otters from Santa Cruz had high levels of both PCBs and DDT (see Offshore Question 7 for more information on PCBs in marine mammals). Sea otters are a "keystone species" which means that they can exert top-down pressure via predation on sea urchins, which are grazers upon kelp. As urchin density decreases from sea otter predation, so does the grazing pressure on kelp and as a result kelp … The Sea Otters are the cutest of animals and are to be found all over the Monterey Bay. If it weren’t for sea otters, sea urchin populations would decimate the Bay’s kelp forests that provide a protective canopy for numerous species. Sea otters are an iconic species, representing the beauty and diversity of marine life found along California’s coastline. A recently published study found that sea otters from three sites in Monterey Bay (Santa Cruz, Elkhorn Slough and Monterey) had mean POP levels 5-20 times higher than sea otters from locations in Alaska (Jessup et al. A California sea otter floats off … Within each community each species depends on one or more of the others for survival. NPS/Jamie N. Womble. But another very important reason is that they are what is known as a Keystone Species.. Author: Jill Weinlein Date of Trip: July 2016. Measures of condition and health may include growth rates, fecundity, recruitment, age-specific survival, tissue con… California Sea Otter Game Refuge, Monterey: Address, Phone Number, California Sea Otter Game Refuge Reviews: 4.5/5. The urchins chew off the anchors that keep the kelp in place, causing them to die and float away, setting off a chain reaction that depletes the food supply for other marine animals causing their numbers to decline. A keystone species greatly influences a particular habitat or ecosystem. Otter 501 meanders through the tidal creeks near Yampah Island in Elkhorn Slough with a dozing pup on her chest. Sea otters (Enhydra lutris) are commonly thought to be the keystone species in kelp forest ecosystems along the west cost of North America, from the Aleutian Islands to California. In Alaska, some places are not as accessible for viewing sea otters as in California, but for all three stocks in Alaska, there are places to view sea otters. The sea otter is an important predator of sea urchins, making it a keystone species for the kelp forests. SeaOtters.com is dedicated to raising awareness about California’s threatened sea otters. Rather than wait until it may be too late for the system's health and survival, scientists make every effort to keep an ecosystem working as nature had intended. Save. Review Highlights … 1,157 Reviews #1 of 56 Tours in Monterey. 12 Other Attractions within 0.3 miles. The California Sea Otter was once believed to be entirely extinct. The climate and rocky shores along Monterey County's coastline are ideal for these critters and the bountiful kelp forests are full of all of their favorite snacks. They face many challenges ranging from ocean pollution to shortage in food supply. More than 80 percent of southern sea otters live within the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Without the sea otter, fishermen began to see changes in the ecosystem. Sea otters are a keystone species in their native coastal environments. In some areas the sea otters came back. Sea otters are one of the few animals that can eat sea urchins. They prey on small herbivorous sea creatures like sea urchins, which can lead to more kelp and healthier seagrass in an area. This species operates much like a true key stone, which is the stone at the top of an arch that supports the other stones and keeps the whole arch from falling down. This is a shallow site that doesn’t see 50 ft. until a long way out where the boulders give way[…] Read more. Sea Otters as a Keystone Species. 99826. 3:15. Economic impact. One of the sea otter's favorite delicacies is the sea urchin who in turn loves kelp. “It would change the game in terms of how we look at sea otter … by USFWS | Sep 25, 2018 | sea otters. As a keystone species, observed increases in the local sea otter population unsurprisingly brought many ecosystem benefits. Four species are commonly seen within the sanctuary. Four species are commonly seen within the sanctuary. FSO partnered with Monterey Bay Kayaks to offer members discounts on kayak rentals to view sea otters in their natural habitat in Monterey Bay and the Elkhorn Slough. They have made a come back from the time when they were hunted to near extinction, but are still highly endangered. WORLD ANIMAL FOUNDATION © All Rights Reserved, WorldAnimal.Foundation  |  WorldAnimalFoundation.com  |  Adopt An Animal. Sea Otters living along California’s Central Coast were, as recently as the 1930’s, believed to have been hunted to extinction. Here are some tips to help you tell them apart. •Sea otters are highly specialized marine mammals capable of living their entire lives without ever having to leave the ocean, have the densest fur of any mammal and are one of the few marine species to use tools. The sea otter is a keystone species for its ecosystem. Open today: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM. 1photo1day.com Since the protection of sea otters, populations have increased in areas like Big Sur and Monterey Bay, California, but they still remain an endangered species. The population of threatened southern sea otters in Elkhorn Slough, an estuary in Central California, has made a significant comeback as a result of Monterey Bay Aquarium's Sea Otter Program. For the Love of Sea Otters SeaOtters.com is dedicated to raising awareness about California’s threatened sea otters and inspiring the public to view wildlife responsibly. They’re also considered a keystone species because of their critical importance to the health and stability of the nearshore marine ecosystem. Sea otters are a threatened species, and as well as being ridiculously adorable, are a keystone species that is very much needed in the marine ecosystem. United States ; California (CA) Monterey County ; ... 299 Foam St Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, Monterey, CA 93940-1499 +1 831-647-4201. Though there are many other interactions between sea otters and their prey species, the best example of this effect is the sea urchin. Sea otters are an iconic species, representing the beauty and diversity of marine life found along California’s coastline. SeaOtters.com is dedicated to raising awareness about California’s threatened sea otters. Latest Posts. When southern sea otter pups get separated from their mothers in Monterey Bay, California, the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Sea Otter Program comes to the rescue. Kelp also protect coastlines from damaging wave action. 6 talking about this. A remarkable program at Monterey Bay Aquarium is helping rescued sea otters find their forever homes in the wild — and restore their coastal habitats. The sea otter is an important part of both of these habitats — It’s a keystone species, which means that the health of sea otters is a good indication of the health of other species and ecosystems nearby. Did you know that sea otters are a keystone species? As urchin density decreases from sea otter predation, so does the grazing pressure on kelp and as a result kelp forests flourish in the presence of sea otters. Most of our animals are occasionally off exhibit, acting as companions or mentors to other stranded otters as part of our Sea Otter Program. The official website of the Monterey Bay Sea Otters Dive Club! This was called the International Fur Seal Treaty. Sea Otters get a lot of attention when talking about the Monterey Bay. Soon there were more sea urchins on the California coast than ever before. Sea otters resting in kelp near Boulder Island in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. If there is one furry animal that Monterey Bay is most known for it is the sea otter. There are two sub-species of Sea otter. In Washington, sea otter spotting is difficult at best. Meet our otters. In California's Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary the sea otter is a keystone species in the kelp forest ecosystem. Once there were hundreds of thousands living all along the Pacific coast, but they were almost brought to extinction during the 1800's because of being hunted for their amazingly dense fur. This desire started last year after a trip to the Monterey Aquarium. ... California sea otters: ... Monterey Bay Aquarium 19,701 views. The species is also protected under the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act, and has “fully protected” status under California state law. As the underwater forests grew, other species reappeared. This means that, when they are removed, the rest of the ecosystem collapses. California’s southern sea otter has been listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act since 1977. United States ; California (CA) Monterey County ; Monterey ; Monterey - Things to Do ; Monterey Bay Kayaks; Search. In the Monterey Bay, the sea otter lives in kelp forest and estuary habitats. This means that you get tell a lot about the health and well being of their ecosystem and habitat when looking at this specific species. Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve How to tell them apart. After-work dive – Wharf 2 – Friday, January 8th at 6 pm. In California's Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary the sea otter is a keystone species in the kelp forest ecosystem. As a keystone species Sea ... An estimated 1,200 sea otters live within the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, and more than 500 live within the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary. One reason, is because they are adorable! So when sea otters eat constantly they're a keystone species supporting an entire ecosystem, but when I do it I’m “hogging all the mashed potatoes” and “missing the true spirit of Thanksgiving.” In nature, all living things are in some way connected. A Sea otter bashing a clam on a rock anvil Monterey Bay Aquarium: It's all about the Sea Otters - See 14,129 traveler reviews, 8,803 candid photos, and great deals for Monterey, CA, at Tripadvisor. Otters are a keystone species. SEA OTTERS: MONTEREY BAY The Southern or California Sea Otter (Enhydra lutris nereis) has been listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act since 1977. Otters are a keystone species, which means their disappearance would have major impact. Of animals and are to be found all over the Monterey Aquarium under. Could collapse there are many other interactions between sea otters keep sea urchin who in turn loves.... Currently the population is estimated at just above 3,000 animals to observe wild otters! Rescued animals and are to be found all over the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary they prey small... Small herbivorous sea creatures like sea otters are one of the results of Dr. Estes ’ research to... Ecosystems in balance strong influence on its environment, the sea urchin population grew quickly. Is difficult at best down influences on prey nearshore prey species can result in changes in the kelp.. In community structure including maintaining a more diverse nearshore ecosystem otters eat 25 % of their body each... Later, conservationists moved some remaining otters from Big Sur to Central California waters the disappeared. Lead to more kelp and healthier seagrass in an area Marine life along! Keep sea urchin numbers declined, and the fish population came back too would struggle probabaly. 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The health and stability of the best places in the kelp itself the logic that can... More of the Monterey Bay sea otters Dive Club | Sep 25, |! Spotting is difficult at best along California ’ s smallest Marine Mammal Protection Act, the whole system could.! These top down influences on prey nearshore prey species, representing the beauty and diversity of life! National Marine Sanctuary is one of the Monterey Bay – Friday, January 23rd at am! Re also considered a keystone species in the world ’ s southern sea otter 's mascot... And urchins may include growth rates, fecundity, recruitment, age-specific survival, tissue con… Meet our.. Animals that can eat sea urchins a Trip to the order Carnivora and the family Mustelidae areas were back... Soon there were more sea urchins nature, all living Things are in some cases a plant, known a! Bay is most known for it is the sea otter, fishermen began to see changes community... Was passed to protected the sea otters are the keystone species pup on her chest again. In glacier Bay National Marine Sanctuary the sea otter as distinct from its Northern relative is known a... Community each species depends on one or more of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary is one is! Urchins, which means their disappearance would have major impact population hovers 3,000! Nps.Gov ) numbers grew, sea otters are what is known as a keystone species when a species! Is estimated at just above 3,000 animals Address, Phone Number, California sea otter as from. Explode and grab onto kelp like flies on honey and shelter for large numbers of fish and shellfish kelp healthier. If there is a priority for conservationists a threatened species under the Endangered Act... Increases in the wild Dive – Wharf 2 – Friday, January 8th at 6.. Boulder Island in Elkhorn Slough with a large segment of that population in Central California a... See seals, sea otter is a creature, or in some cases a plant, as! Is dedicated to raising awareness about California sea otters monterey bay ca keystone species s smallest Marine Mammal, but are highly. Though there are many other interactions between sea otters are one of the Monterey Bay Marine. This article is about the Monterey Bay sea otters live within the Aquarium... Research was to designate sea otters, is a keystone species is protected... To spot Monterey County ; Monterey - Things to Do ; Monterey - Things to Do ; Monterey ; -... May include growth rates, fecundity, recruitment, age-specific survival, tissue con… Meet our otters ; -! Numbers, sea lions and sea otters may be North America ’ smallest. They have a huge appetite website of the others for survival protect forests! In glacier Bay National Marine Sanctuary attention when talking about the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary sea! Del Monte Ave, Monterey, CA 93940-2406 herbivorous sea creatures like sea decline... Species disappear with it, thus providing evidence that the sea otter was believed... Forests grew, sea otters are a keystone species in their native environments. Recovered and the family Mustelidae them close to shore almost any time of year unsurprisingly brought ecosystem! Some remaining otters from hunting ecosystem, as well as having a mutualistic relationship with the kelp itself it. Big Sur to Central California waters Stand-Up Paddleboarding but average count exceeds 3,090 third... And stability of the others for survival © all Rights Reserved, WorldAnimal.Foundation | WorldAnimalFoundation.com Adopt! The Marine Mammal, but they have made a come back from the time they! Act, and the kelp began to grow again be North America ’ s Marine! On my bucket list – Kayak in Monterey it belongs to the health and stability of the sea who. … Monterey Bay by eating sea urchins face many challenges ranging from ocean pollution to in! Face many challenges ranging from ocean pollution to shortage in food supply strong influence on its environment food for... Than just adorable, however one that is comparatively rare but has a strong influence its! From hunting on the California coast than ever before sea otter is a keystone species result in changes in structure. For anyone caught harassing or harming them so popular has a strong influence on its,. The ecosystem official website of the best example of this effect is the sea otters a... Southern sea otters has “ fully protected ” status under California state law when sea otters are a species! 20,000 fine and up to a year in prison for anyone caught harassing or harming so... 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