Hokie here and I’ve been losing my mind over these awesome animals I’ve had the pleasure to encounter the other day. All the staff here can agree that these guys are awesome! It’s like a combination of water, dogs, cats, and awesome. I’m talking about Sea Otters! Did you guys know that it from September 18th– September 24th is Sea Otter Awareness Week. This week is always the last full week in September and it is to bring about recognition to the vital role sea otters play in the nearshore ecosystem. All around the world people in aquariums, zoos, natural history museums, filmmakers, researchers, ETC participate in events or activities highlighting sea otters and their natural history. All the scientific stuff aside, have you seen those sleek little guys go? They zoom through the water, they adorably cuddle with each other, and they Juggle! Come one, they juggle, and that is so awesome.
This year marks the 14th annual Sea Otter Awareness week. That means for 14 year people have been inspired to learn about and protect our little otter friends. You can do the same by visiting your local zoo or aquarium and inquiring about them. We here at the Pet Doctor will post a few tidbits of facts here, but that’s just scratching the surface of the Awesomeness that is Sea Otters.
- They are a keystone species in the ecosystem, as they promote healthy kelp forests. Those in turn support thousands of organisms.
- They are the top predator of their ecosystem
- Sea Otters are Indicator Species. This means they reflect the conditions of the world around them. If they are dying in tremendous amounts, there is a land based connection.
- Humans and sea otters eat many of the same foods, so high rates of sea otter disease may be a warning for both human and marine ecosystem health.
- Their common names: Southern or California Sea Otter; Northern Sea Otter; Russian Sea otter
- They are the smallest marine mammal in Northern Hemisphere, but the largest member of Family Mustelidae
- Their relatives include Ferrets, badgers, minks, and river otters.
So much more can be found out about Sea Otters, and you can find out ways to help them by following these links:
http://www.seaotters.com http://ecos.fws.gov/speciesProfile/profile/speciesProfile.action?spcode=A0A7 http://www.werc.usgs.gov/Project.aspx?ProjectID=91 http://alaska.fws.gov/fisheries/mmm/seaotters/recovery.htm
Happy Sea Otter Awareness Week!!!