Sea otters are what is known as a keystone species; a species whose presence has an extreme effect on their ecosystem. For example, one of the favourite prey animals of the sea otter is the sea urchin, an echinoderm that feeds on the lower stems of kelp and other seaweed. Sea otters keep the urchin numbers low, allowing the growth and continued health of kelp forests, one of the richest and most productive marine ecosystems in the world.
Areas where sea otters have been extirpated, on the other hand, have degenerated into “urchin barrens”; barren rocky areas of seafloor where only urchins and other invertebrates can flourish. Even worse is that these urchin barrens can spread; once a population of urchins has eliminated all of the kelp in an area, they will move on to destroy another kelp forest. The reintroduction of sea otters to areas such as coastal British Columbia has dramatically improved the health and productivity of the coastal ecosystems.
hey!! so i’m trying to get a broader horizon on my dash and more variety on my blog lmao so like/reblog if you post about any of the following and i’ll check out your blog!!:
nwhl / cwhl (buffalo beauts, toronto furies, etc. tbh i’ll take anything tho)
finnish elite league / aihl (tps, perth thunder, etc. will also take anything)
tampa bay lightning
new york rangers
Since photographing otters with his first camera, Charlie Hamilton James admits, he’s been an “otter nut.” One day during the year he spent in the Yellowstone area, Hamilton James got a call from a friend with a pond on his property: “Get here now. The otters are here.” He grabbed his dry suit, his underwater camera, and the weight belt he’d last used in the ocean.
At the site, “I jumped in the pond and sank straight to the bottom,” says the award-winning wildlife photographer. He had too much weight on the belt—but chances to photograph wild otters underwater are scarce, and he was determined. So he struggled to the surface, gulped air, and then sank again, repeatedly.
“Every time I got to the bottom, the otters swam down to hang out with me,” Hamilton James says. “As an encounter, it’s incredibly rare.” But, he admits, “it was ruined by the fact that I was trying not to drown.”
Some of my musteloid skulls, including animals from families Mustelidae (mustelids), Mephitidae (skunks), and Procyonidae (raccoons).
Skulls are, clockwise from upper left: wolverine, raccoon (female), American badger, North American river otter (younger animal), North American river otter (older animal), ermine, fisher, striped skunk, and raccoon (male).
Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge – the first wildlife refuge in Indiana created 50 years ago this week – protects habitat for more than 280 species of birds like sandhill cranes. The refuge was also instrumental to the comeback of the state’s endangered North American river otter, serving as the first release site to bring populations back to healthy numbers. This amazing landscape of lakes, marshes and creeks is a quick trip from major metropolitan areas in Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky. Photo by Susan Harner, USFWS.
I did it I finally got one or two decent pics of these damn otters. They never quit moving. NEVER.
These are North American River otters. They’re native to this region and the pair here were an orphaned pair that were given to the zoo after they became too habituated to release into the wild (or so I’m told)