USGS Western Ecological Research Center

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WERC scientists conduct annual population surveys of the southern sea otter -- a federally listed threatened species. In coordination with the California Department of Fish and Game and other institutions, ongoing surveys and research continues to inform the southern sea otter recovery plan for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and contributes to our understanding of sea otters and nearshore ecosystem health from California to Alaska.


Zoom view of kelp and otters. But can you spot all the otters?

Click image to have the otters revealed.

Why does it take a trained and experienced sharp eye to find sea otters? Test your skill at spotting the sea otters that are mingled with native bull kelp (Nereocystis leutkeana) dotting the ocean in this photo. The photo was taken by USGS scientist Brian Hatfield through his spotting scope during a survey for southern sea otters.

How many otters do you count?


Updated 2012.07.31

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