“​Sea otters are a sentinel species, which means they act as indicators of the ocean’s overall health and can alert scientists to harmful events in the marine environment.​”

This is wonderful that companies/charities are now taking much more interest in protecting threatened species.

I have bought the bracelet – you should too.

Monterey Bay Aquarium is Protecting Sea Otters from 4Ocean on Vimeo.

Sea otters are perhaps one of the ocean’s most adorable inhabitants, but these iconic creatures are more than a cute face. They’re a keystone species that plays a critical role in maintaining healthy nearshore marine ecosystems in the Pacific.

Despite their importance to coastal kelp forests and seagrass beds, sea otters have been listed as an endangered species on the IUCN Red List since 2015. However, the IUCN doesn’t differentiate between specific sea otter populations, some of which are considered endangered while others are considered threatened.

It’s estimated that California’s southern sea otter population numbers just over 3,000 individuals. While this threatened population of sea otters has been growing slowly, decades of protection haven’t helped it bounce back as dramatically as researchers had hoped. Elevated mortality is largely due to non-consumptive predation by sharks, disease and contaminants, limited food availability, oil spills, and human disturbances.

While we do understand some of the threats southern sea otters face, more research is needed to understand what’s been hindering their recovery. With better insight into the complex and intertwined challenges they face, it’s possible to develop and implement more effective, long-term management that could help southern sea otters move back into more of their historical range along the California coast.

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