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James A. Estes

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Information on the size, distribution, and productivity of the California sea otter population is broadly relevant to two federally mandated goals: removing the population’s listing as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and obtaining an “optimal sustainable population” under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Except for the population in central California, sea otters (Enhydra lutris) were hunted to extinction between Prince William Sound, Alaska, and Baja California (Kenyon 1969). Wilson et al. (1991), based on variations in cranial morphology, recently assigned sub-specific status (E. l. nereis) to the California sea otter. Furthermore, mitochondrial DNA analysis has revealed genetic differences...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
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Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
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Reliable information on historical and current population dynamics is central to understanding patterns of growth and decline in animal populations. We developed a maximum likelihood-based analysis to estimate spatial and temporal trends in age/sex-specific survival rates for the threatened southern sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis), using annual population censuses and the age structure of salvaged carcass collections. We evaluated a wide range of possible spatial and temporal effects and used model averaging to incorporate model uncertainty into the resulting estimates of key vital rates and their variances. We compared these results to current demographic parameters estimated in a telemetry-based study conducted...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecological Applications
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While recent changes in subarctic North Pacific climate had dramatic effects on ecosystems and fishery yields, past climate dynamics and teleconnection patterns are poorly understood due to the absence of century-long high-resolution marine records. We present the first 117-year long annually resolved marine climate history from the western Bering Sea/Aleutian Island region using information contained in the calcitic skeleton of the long-lived crustose coralline red alga Clathromorphum nereostratum, a previously unused climate archive. The skeletal ??18O-time series indicates significant warming and/or freshening of surface waters after the middle of the 20th century. Furthermore, the time series is spatiotemporally...
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