Marine Mammals Management
Alaska Region


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Sea Otter

Sea Otters and the Endangered Species Act


In October 2005, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service listed the southwest Alaska Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of the northern sea otter (Enhydra lutris kenyoni) as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). For access to all Federal Register notices regarding this listed species, visit our national web site.

Section 4 of the ESA requires us to review the status of each federally-listed species every five years. Five-year reviews evaluate whether a federally listed species should be removed from the list, reclassified from endangered to threatened or vice versa, or if the species’ classification should not change. Five-year reviews ensure that listed species have the appropriate level of protection under the ESA.

Critical Habitat
In October 2009, the Service designated Critical Habitat for the southwest DPS of the northern sea otter.

On September 6, 2013, the Service published a Federal Register notice informing the public of the availability of the Recovery Plan for the southwest DPS of the northern sea otter. The objective of the recovery plan is to delist this DPS through implementation of a variety of recovery measures outlined in the plan. We thank all the partners who contributed to this effort.



Last updated: March 11, 2014