California sea otter population reaches record high number

20160829_040311_ottersA growth in the amount of sea urchins, one of the otters’ favorite foods, seems to be the leading reason why otter numbers along the California coast have grown to 3,272 this year, up 11 percent since 2013, experts said as they released the latest survey. “The population is slowly but steadily recovering,” said Tim Tinker, a research biologist in Santa Cruz who leads the U.S. Geological Survey’s otter program. “And that’s good news because sea otters bring ecological benefits.”In fact, the otter population is likely at its highest level in at least 100 years, Tinker said. And for the first time, the otter numbers have exceeded 3,090, the total that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says is needed to be met for three years in a row before they can be considered for removal from the endangered species list. Read the story here 13:45

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