California Sea Otters Attacked by SharksPosted on Sunday, March 6th, 2011 at 4:53 pm by ReefTools
A recent decline in California sea otter population, yielded an unlikely cause: shark attacks. We say unlikely, because the sharks don’t actually eat the sea otters, but the bites are enough to cause a kill. The decline is seen both in the adult and pups population. But Dr. Melissa Miller of the California Department of Fish and Game says that sharks are not the only cause.
“We know something’s happening where otters that are prime-aged animals are dying of heart failure,” Miller said. Heart failure might be caused by toxic runoff says Tim Tinker of the U.S. Geological Survey. In a continuous effort to revive the sea otter population, researchers are capturing otters and are looking at any precursors to various disease or signs of malnutrition. Hopefully, findings will provide some insight and direction for future efforts.