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During 2002−2015 we examined the causes of mortality in beachcast northern sea otters (Enhydra lutris kenyoni) collected from the coasts of Washington and Oregon states. A total of 333 moribund or dead sea otters were reported through opportunistic observations and 93 otter carcasses were collected for necropsy. Retrieved carcasses received a full diagnostic evaluation to determine cause of death when carcass condition permitted. Otter stranding reports were received from the entire Washington coast and northern Oregon coast, but carcasses located near areas populated by humans were most often in suitable condition for cause of death determination. Data in this release include basic demographic information on the...
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Sea otters are well-known tool users, employing objects such as rocks or shells to break open invertebrate prey. We used a series of generalized linear mixed effect models (GLMEs) to examine observational data on prey capture and tool use from 211 tagged individuals from five geographically defined study areas throughout the sea otter’s range in California. Our best supported model was able to explain 75% of the variation in the frequency of tool-use by individual sea otters with only ecological and demographic variables. In one study area, where sea otter food resources were abundant, all individuals had similar diets focusing on preferred prey items and used tools at low to moderate frequencies (4-38% of prey...


map background search result map search result map Tool-use frequency by individual sea otters in California Mortality trends in northern sea otters (Enhydra lutris kenyoni) collected from the coast of Washington and Oregon during 2002—2015: Data Tool-use frequency by individual sea otters in California Mortality trends in northern sea otters (Enhydra lutris kenyoni) collected from the coast of Washington and Oregon during 2002—2015: Data