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Annual California sea otter stranding data


The California Sea Otter Stranding Network is part of the USGS effort to monitor southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis) and provide data to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. WERC's Brian Hatfield and Dr. Tim Tinker works with multiple institutions and partners to report, recover, and examine stranded sea otters. TRENDS IN SEA OTTER MORTALITY Since 1968, biologists and veterinarians at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and the USGS Western Ecological Research Center have documented and examined all reported sea otter strandings -- counting the number of dead, sick or injured sea otters recovered along California each year -- in an effort to understand the population trends of the southern sea otter (Enhydra [...]

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Dead Otter at Piedras Blancas cropped_jpg.jpg
“Sea otter found by USGS scientists in Piedras Blancas. Credit: Brian Hatfield”
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The collection of data from stranded sea otters is very important for understanding population demographics. Future researchers will find this useful for comparison purposes.


The authors of these data require that data users contact them regarding intended use and to assist with understanding limitations and interpretation. Unless otherwise stated, all data, metadata and related materials are considered to satisfy the quality standards relative to the purpose for which the data were collected. Although these data and associated metadata have been reviewed for accuracy and completeness and approved for release by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), no warranty expressed or implied is made regarding the display or utility of the data on any other system or for general or scientific purposes, nor shall the act of distribution constitute any such warranty. Any use of trade, firm, or product names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.
Sea otter found by USGS scientists in Piedras Blancas. Credit: Brian Hatfield
Sea otter found by USGS scientists in Piedras Blancas. Credit: Brian Hatfield


  • USGS Western Ecological Research Center

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