Rare Sea Otter Sighting in Depoe Bay

Posted by OCVA / February 23, 2009

After 103 years maybe they are coming back…

Jim Rice, coordinator of the Oregon Marine Mammal Stranding Network at Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center said “They (sea otters) are considered to be a keystone species, meaning their presence profoundly affects the ecosystem. A major part of a sea otter’s diet is sea urchins. Without sea otters to eat sea urchins, the sea urchin population can explode and adversely affect the underwater kelp forests, resulting in “sea urchin barrens.”

“The best way for people to view the sea otter is from the sea wall in Depoe Bay, provided the sea otter stays around.”We certainly don’t want a flood of people out looking for the animal from boats on the water,” he said. “We don’t want to scare this animal away.”

The article in the Newport News-Times is a must read: http://www.newportnewstimes.com/articles/2009/02/20/news/news03.txt

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