The lives of sea otters — the tool-using marine mammals — were once intertwined with those of the coastal tribes in Oregon. Now, local Native Americans are hoping to bring them back.
In some places surrounding the central and western Aleutian Islands, reefs are crumbling from urchins burrowing through the weakened calcium carbonate structures.
A LifeMed medevac flight crashed into the water Thursday morning near Unalaska shortly after taking off from the island’s airport. No one was seriously hurt.
Sea otters are rapidly recolonizing Southeast Alaska. But that wildlife success story breeds challenges as they compete with commercial fishermen.
The sea otter population in Southeast is growing steadily. Alaska Natives are allowed to work the pelts in traditional ways, but production is constrained by regulations.
An unusual number of dying otters were found in Southwest Alaska. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service launched an investigation into what was killing these seemingly healthy animals.
Humans and sea otters enjoy consuming the same bottom-dwelling seafood: Dungeness crabs, clams, sea cucumbers and urchins. In some areas these creatures have completely disappeared.
“Something is hitting them harder and faster, in addition to the disease that we’re familiar with seeing, something else seems to be involved,” says Marc Webber with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Homer,
The Southeast Alaska sea otter population well-more than doubled over the past decade. That’s according to an estimate from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which released a draft of its revised stock assessment this week. The numbers have been out for a while but the public now has a formal chance to comment on them.
Scientists know sea otters have a profound impact on their ecosystem, but in Southeast Alaska the details of those interactions are hazy.