The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Sea Otter Program (SOP) has been studying the threatened southern sea otter since 1984 with the aim of understanding threats to the population and promoting its recovery. Staff along with a pool of trained volunteers help rescue, treat and release injured otters; raise and release stranded pups through their surrogate program; and seek homes for sea otters that can’t return to the wild. In collaboration with SOP staff and the Director of Science and Conservation, we are conducting a 2-year, mixed-method study of the SOP volunteer program. The results will inform the development of a multiyear sea otter research and ecosystem-based conservation strategy with a focus on range expansion and coastal sustainability. Otters are essential to the health of the ecosystem and will be center stage in this work.
Learn more about the recovery of the Sea Otter Population in the Monterey Bay Sanctuary at https://newsroom.montereybayaquarium.org/press/sea-otter-survey.