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Sea otter research and conservation at the Monterey Bay Aquarium

Andrew B. Johnson
Monterey Bay Aquarium

Wednesday, December 6, 2000
3:00 p.m.—Pacific Forum

Over the past 16 years, the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Sea Otter Research and Conservation (SORAC) program has engaged in sea otter field research and pioneered rehabilitation and release techniques for sea otters. At present, we find ourselves intensively involved in all aspects of sea otter research and conservation—from rescuing and rehabilitating live-stranded sea otters, to participating in southern sea otter field projects, to serving as occasional peacekeeper and facilitator of a broad sea otter research alliance. Our efforts stem from a recently adopted program mission: to engage in activities that will ensure the continued survival of the southern sea otter. Despite a longstanding process aimed at recovering this threatened population, the southern sea otter remains at risk from oil spills, disease, and conflicts with humans along nearshore and intertidal habitats.

As we attempt to evaluate our progress thus far, so too do we look to the future with strategies that will allow us to engage in meaningful and relevant sea otter conservation work.

In this presentation, we will provide a comprehensive update on the SORAC program and discuss program plans for the next few years. In addition, we will share information on several current collaborative projects involving studies of population dynamics, health parameters, disease, and behavior in this species.