Sea Otter Awareness Week 2008
Defenders of Wildlife Presents Sea Otter Awareness Week 2008, September 21-September 27

This week-long event is being held to educate the public about the integral role that sea otters play in the nearshore marine ecosystem as well as the importance of respecting biological diversity. We have great free public talks scheduled here in the Monterey Bay area, Santa Barbara, and, possibly, more areas to be confirmed by a number of sea otter experts.

*All events are seat-limited - we aren't requiring RSVPs this year.

Defenders of Wildlife is working with the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Seymour Marine Discovery Center, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Monterey Bay area schools and schools throughout California, Morro Bay National Estuary Program, Channel Islands National Park Robert J. Lagomarsino Visitors Center, Ty Warner Sea Center of Santa Barbara, Alaska SeaLife Center, Alaska Islands & Ocean Visitor Center/Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, sea otter and marine researchers, museums and many others to promote sea otter education, research, and conservation programs. There will be events and activities throughout the Monterey Bay (at the Seymour Marine Discover Center, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, and Monterey Bay Aquarium), San Mateo, Morro Bay, Santa Barbara, Alaska, and, in addition, other aquariums and zoos throughout North America and abroad will be participating in Sea Otter Awareness Week.

** The following are confirmed lectures and events to date (more to get added every week)**

Tuesday, September 23 at 7pm
Monterey Bay Aquarium

Helping to Save the Southern Sea Otter & How They Are Helping to Save Us
Dr. Jonna Mazet, Director, Wildlife Health Center, U.C. Davis

Dr. Jonna Mazet will focus on what things are killing southern sea otters, and how, through their role as a sentinel species, they are identifying problems in the nearshore ecosystem. Through this role sea otters can help protect other marine species, as well as humans.


The cost of living along the California coast: How sea otters balance the budget

Dr. Laura Yeates, U.S Navy Marine Mammal Program

Sea otters are the smallest marine mammals, the only without a sub-dermal blubber layer, and are found exclusively in cold water habitats. Consequently, thermoregulation and energy balance represent important physiological challenges for day to day survival in the marine environment. How these ever resourceful creatures have found unique ways to balance their daily thermal and caloric budgets will be discussed as well as what may happen when their budget can't be met.
Wednesday, September 24 at 7pm
Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Pacific Forum

Sea Otter Talk by Dr. Tim Tinker,
Research Biologist with the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California Santa Cruz and U.S. Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division

Talk Title and Summary TBD

Thursday, September 25 at 7pm
Seymour Marine Discovery Center, La Feliz Room

Washing Oiled Sea Otters: 20 Years After Exxon Valdez
Dr. Dave Jessup, Senior Wildlife Veterinarian, Marine Wildlife Veterinary Care & Research Center

Both the short term and long term results of washing seaotters during the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989 were disappointing and controversial. Using research trained southern sea otters, we first
optimized the existing washing methods and procedures, then used these standardized procedures in a Latin Square research design to determine the effects of the type of water into which otters were released for recovery and self grooming; ambient temp sea water, warm soft fresh water, or ambient temp fresh soft water, and warmed sea water, in that order. Both temperatures of soft fresh water appeared to promote much more rapid return of waterproofing, normal behaviors, physiology and thermal profiles than did sea water, reducing coat recovery times by 50% or more. The results are repeatable and even when sea otters are dipped in a mixture of sea water and canola oil, they recover at least as quickly as they did when unoiled. We we have identified a number of
improvements in sea otter washing and care that could reduce time to recovery and time in care by about 50% and a number of improvements in physiologic monitoring technology that could greatly improve care of oiled marine birds and mammals.

More event information will be posted as events become confirmed. Please check back to the website often for updates. For more information, call Jim Curland, Marine Program Associate, Defenders of Wildlife, at 831.726.9010 or email at [email protected]. Limited seating for all events.

Jim Curland
Marine Program Associate

P.O. Box 806 Moss Landing, CA 95039
Tel: 831-726-9010 | Fax: 831-726-9020
[email protected] |

Defenders of Wildlife, founded in 1947, is dedicated to the protection of all native wild animals and plants in their natural communities. We focus our programs on what scientists consider two of the most serious environmental threats to the planet: the accelerating rate of extinction of species and the associated loss of biological diversity, and habitat alteration and destruction. Long known for our leadership on endangered species issues, Defenders of Wildlife also advocates new approaches to wildlife conservation that will help keep species from becoming endangered. Our programs encourage protection of entire ecosystems and interconnected habitats while protecting predators that serve as indicator species for ecosystem health.

Join in celebrating and recognizing sea otters during the6th annual Sea Otter Awareness Week, September 21-27, 2008

For Californians: Help Sea Otters and other California Endangered Species this Tax Season by Making A Donation When Filing Your Taxes.
For more information visit: (Defenders' Main Sea Otter Page) (Defenders' Sea Otter Teaching Unit)
http:// (Defenders' Marine Program Page)