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10 Endangered Sea Otters – Conservation

by Stephanie

Sea otter is one from many marine mammals that is native to Pacific Ocean but to be exact they are native to the northern and eastern part of North Pacific Ocean. Even though sea otter can walk in the land and breathe using its lungs but most of its time is spent in the ocean. This is also because it feeds on almost any kind of invertebrates in the ocean and also fish. This marine mammal is smart since it is using rocks to help them open the shells of invertebrates before they eat it.

The population number of sea otter is nowadays decreasing due to some exploitation toward this animal and people are hunting this animal for its fur. And because of that sea otter is listed as the endangered animal which need more protection. To get to know more on the endangered sea otter species here I will explain and describe it to you.

See also: Endangered Species in Pacific Ocean– Threats to Sea Otter

1. African clawless otter

In the first list we have african clawless otter and this species of sea otter is known as the second largest sea otter. It is also known as cape clawless otter or groot otter. You can find this species of sea otter in the southern part of Africa in nearly everywhere surround the water bodies.

Their fur is soft and silky in the underbellies part. Talking about african clawless otter diet, this animal is feeds on crab, fish, frog, and also worms.

2. European otter

Another endangered sea otter species is known as the european otter, also known as eurasian river otter, common otter, and old world otter. This species of sea otter is actually native to the Eurasia.

This species of sea otter can grow and reach the number of 95 cm in length for its body and 35 cm in length for its tail. Comparing about the size of european sea otter the male will be bigger than females and their weight can reach the number of 17 kg.

3. Giant otter

Giant otter is also known as giant river otter. It is called giant because its body length can reach the number of 1.7 m. The giant otter usually easier to be found along the Amazon River and Pantanal.

Meanwhile, About its diet,  Giant otter only feeds on snakes, fish, turtle, crabs, and small caiman.

The body of giant sea otter can grow and reach the number of 1.7 m with 32 kg of weight. Despite of its giant body, the giant otter has a good ability to adapt with its environment.

See also: Biggest Fish in Amazon

4. Northern river otter

Another endangered sea otter species is known as northern river otter which is also known as common otter. Just like its name which is “northern”, this species of sea otter is native to the North America continent where you can find them exist along the coast and also waterways.

On the other hand, just like other sea animals do, they like to swim and their fur is water repellent.

See also: Importance of Arctic Ocean

5. Oregon sea otter

About the Oregon sea otter it is kind of sad knowing that the species of sea otter coming from Oregon is actually totally disappear.

Furthermore, comparing to another region or in another area where sea otter exist, this place has a high number of sea otter hunting until it makes the population disappear.

Once there were found one sea otter in Oregon but the sea otter it self is believed from another region.

6. California sea otter

Also known as southern sea otter, this animal loves to feed on sea urchin. This species of sea otter that you can see nowadays is basically the descendant from 50 sea otters only. And yes, if you want to count 50 sea otters it means that the californian sea otter that you see today is coming up from one single colony.

It is sad knowing that it is only one colony that make up the whole california sea otter today due to the high illegal hunting for its fur. Because of all this human irresponsible act, california sea otter become an endangered sea otter species.

See also: Endangered Species in Pacific Ocean – Herbivores in The Pacific Ocean

7. Rusian sea otter

About sea otter species in Russia, they were also being hunted during the 19th century and because of this tragedy the population of sea otter there is declining so quickly and there were only 750 sea otter left.

However, today you can see that the population of sea otter is become stable as it is before the illegal hunt tragedy. Comparing to another places, the sea otter species in Rusia is even more stable.

8. Eastern sea otter

Next up we have eastern sea otter inside the list of endangered sea otter. Eastern sea otter is basically a species of sea otter that still live in their native habitat which is in the eastern part of North Pacific Ocean.

The eastern sea otter is classified as omnivore they eat both plants and animal but just like any other sea otter, their favorite food will be sea urchin. And they do also have predators which include human, shark, and killer whale.

See also: List of Marine Invertebrates – Common Types of Sea Urchin

9. Alaska sea otter

Alaska became a heavenly like place for sea otter because the highest number of sea otter population can be found there. But, just because Alaska became a heavenly place for sea otter this does not mean that the alaska sea otter there is protected.

There were also exist illegal hunting for sea otter’s fur and there are also a high number of whale predation towards sea otter where these two factors ade the number of sea otter there declining.

10. Cameroon clawless otter

Just like the african clawless otter, this species of sea otter also clawless. They are named Cameroon since most of its population was found in Cameroon. Cameroon clawless otter can live both in the tropical and subtropical areas.

And their population is threatened due to the habitat loss because the number of people is keep increasing which will take the sea otter habitat away. You will still find the sea otter in their habitat even though their habitat is actually damaged because they are trying to protect their habitat.


Actually, there are only two main species which came from the northern and eastern part of Pacific Ocean. Due to the high number of illegal hunting by human for their fur, sea otter was migrating from their native habitat to another habitat where this make another new species since they adapt to their new habitat. Not only because of illegal hunting, the population of sea otter is also threatened because of the human error.

In some places, mining industry in the ocean experience leak on their tank and or pipe in which the oil spills will polluting the ocean and kill the sea otter. And because of this in some places sea otter is almost extinct and to prevent this the local government trying to protect the sea otter because its conservation status is endangered.

Then, here I will mention some conservation actions taken by the government in some country to protect the sea otter population.

  • Under the Species Risk Act in Canada: here, the sea otter population will be protected and also managed.
  • Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 (MMPA) and in southwest Alaska and California: the population of sea otter is protected here to prevent them from extinction.
  • The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service): this federal agency is also responsible in managing the population of sea otter as a way to conserve them.
  • CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species): is also protecting sea otter from the fur and meat trade.

See also:

Those are some endangered sea otter including its conservation. Thank you for reading our article and hopefully by knowing one endangered animal, you now can be aware and also trying to protect the animal not only in the ocean environment but also in the environment surround you. Keep following our website because there will be more interesting article to come.

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