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Summary of Stranded Southern Sea Otters, 1985-2018 (ver. 3.0, June 2021)


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Hatfield, B.B., Harris, M.D., Young, C., Ames, J.A., and Tinker, M.T., 2017, Summary of stranded southern sea otters, 1985-2018 (ver. 3.0, June 2021): U.S. Geological Survey data release,


The southern sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis), also known as California sea otter, was listed as threatened in 1977 under the Endangered Species Act. Since 1985, stranded otters from throughout their California coastal range have been collected and analyzed to inform resource management on recovery and conservation of the species. This data set is a complete 34 year compilation. Future annual stranding recovery information will be published when available. Stranded sea otters were collected by members of the sea otter stranding network (USGS, California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), Monterey Bay Aquarium (MBA), and the Marine Mammal Center (TMMC)) during routine beach walks and (more often) following reports by the general [...]


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The authors of these data require that data users contact them regarding intended use and to assist with understanding limitations and interpretation. Unless otherwise stated, all data, metadata and related materials are considered to satisfy the quality standards relative to the purpose for which the data were collected. Although these data and associated metadata have been reviewed for accuracy and completeness and approved for release by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), no warranty expressed or implied is made regarding the display or utility of the data on any other system or for general or scientific purposes, nor shall the act of distribution constitute any such warranty. Any use of trade, firm, or product names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.


The collection of data from stranded sea otters is very important for understanding population demographics. Future researchers will find this useful for comparison purposes.



  • USGS Western Ecological Research Center



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Revision 3.0 by Erika Sanchez-Chopitea on June 30, 2021.

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DOI doi:10.5066/F71J98P4

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