One not accessible to killer whales, and sea otter decline 5x greater in areas accessible to killer whales 3) Estimated number eaten in order to drive decline rates and … What caused the loss of sea otters along the coasts of … Where do sea otters live? SCIENCE Before reading: Describe a sea otter. Some of the biotic factors include its predators and prey. Killer whales and sea otters have co-inhabited the west-central Aleutian archipelago for much of the past half century, and probably for millennia before. Sea otters are known as a keystone species, filling such an important niche in ocean communities that without them, entire ecosystems can collapse. As top predators, sea otters are critical to maintaining the balance of nearshore ecosystems, such as kelp forests, embayments and estuaries. Oil spills 1) 1st killer whale attack on sea otter observed. The most likely explanation is a shift in the prey resource base for killer whales. Thus, it is necessary to explain why the behavior of killer whales toward sea otters has recently changed. What kinds of other animals share the sea otters’ habitat? Sea Otter Viewing Tips Here are some viewing tips to help you enjoy watching sea otters and other marine wildlife in a safe and responsible way. More attacks witnessed since then 2) Contrasted decline in 2 aras. If you come across a sea otter you think is sick, injured or abandoned, please give it space and call The Marine Mammal Center’s stranding hotline at (415) 289-7325. Some of the sea otter predators are orca, sea lion, and bald eagle. What might threaten sea otters? 2. During reading: What is causing the rapid loss of sea otters in Alaska? Killer whales were never known to attack the furry otters until recent years, much preferring a high-calorie diet of seals and sea lions, which unlike the otters … As we all know, every animal has predator and prey. Examinations of stranded killer whales have shown some extremely high levels of lead, mercury, and polychlorinated hydrocarbons (PCBs) . https://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/otters-orcas-alaskan-mystery-haeqh2/20267 And for the sea otter’s case, when the ecosystem become unbalance and the number of its predator is higher than the number of sea otter it self, it means that sea otter will be no longer exist. Sea otters are a keystone species, meaning their role in their environment has a greater effect than other species. Because orcas are the top predator in the ocean and are at the top of several different food chains in the environment, they tend to be more affected by pollutants than other sea creatures. 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