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Extinction Countdown

Giant Otters Damned by Giant Hydroelectric Dams

giant river otter

Mathematically speaking, the creation of the massive Balbina Hydroelectric Dam in Brazil should have been a boon to the giant river otters (Pteronura brasiliensis) that live in the area. The dam, which went online in 1989, created a reservoir more than 443,000 hectares in size. As the land behind the dam flooded, more than 3,500 [...]

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Extinction Countdown

25 Years after Exxon Valdez Spill, Sea Otters Recovered in Alaska’s Prince William Sound

sea otter

It took a quarter century, but the northern sea otters (Enhydra lutris kenyoni) living in Alaska’s Prince William Sound have finally recovered from the effects of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, according to a new report from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The spill itself killed an estimated 40 percent of the 6,500 sea [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Japanese River Otter Declared Extinct

Japanese river otter

After not being seen for more than 30 years, the Japanese river otter (Lutra lutra whiteleyi) has been declared extinct by the country’s Ministry of the Environment, which also last week declared several other species extinct. Once numbering in the millions, Japanese river otters—a subspecies of the European or Eurasian otter (L. lutra)—were overhunted for [...]

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Extinction Countdown

California sea otter populations sink as research funding dries up

Populations of southern, or California, sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis) have declined for the second year in a row, including a dramatic drop in births, according to new numbers released by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). At the same time, the money necessary to study and help save the sea otters could soon evaporate amidst [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Stay otter there: California sea otters cross over to the forbidden zone

sea otter

Few things in my life have brought me as much joy as watching sea otters play in the waters near Monterey, Calif. So when I heard this week that the frisky yet endangered critters may be slightly expanding their habitat, I figured everyone would think that was good news. Silly me. Once hunted into near-extinction [...]

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PsiVid

Get Your “Awwws” and “Squeees” Here! Wild Sea Otter Cam Delights

Otter 501 and her pup. Image courtesy of Robert Skoals

Most everyone who follows me on social media is aware I have a weakness for two animals: otters and sloths. I’m happy to promote efforts that encourage conservation and well being of these animals. Good news, if you ever desire to infuse your day with adorableness, you can now watch otters in the wild, for [...]

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