USFWS Region 7 Technical Report MMM 2023-01 March 2023

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USFWS Region 7 Technical Report MMM 2023-01 March 2023

In the summer of 2022, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and partners successfully completed the first single-year, aerial photo survey of sea otters across the entire Southeast stock of northern sea otters. This document presents the latest findings from the 2022 Southeast Alaska Sea Otter Survey, providing up-to-date information regarding occupancy, abundance and carrying capacity. We collected two independent data streams of sea otter observations during the survey using novel image sensor technologies for marine wildlife surveys and recently developed statistical methods. We calculated an abundance estimate of 22,359 (95% Bayesian credible interval: 19,595, 25,290, CV = 0.064) sea otters. Based on these results, the population size of the Southeast stock of northern sea otters is still increasing and below the estimated carrying capacity for the region of 48,083 (95% Bayesian credible interval: 40,575, 58,570) sea otters. Results from this report include the first updated abundance estimates for the Southeast stock of sea otters in 10 years, which will help inform stakeholders from across the region and addresses the top priority identified by the 2019 Southeast Sea Otter Stakeholder Working Group.

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Our regional headquarters is primarily comprised of administrative offices, law enforcement, and the offices of our regional leadership. At this location, you can find staff from our Alaska Migratory Birds Office, Alaska Marine Mammals Office, Conservation Genetics Lab, Ecological Services (...
A polar bear has black eyes and nose, and small ears, in a thick pelt of white fur.
Under direction of the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 and the Endangered Species Act of 1973, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Alaska is responsible for the conservation of polar bears, northern sea otters, and Pacific walruses that inhabit Alaskan waters. Our sister agency, the National...
A polar bear has black eyes and nose, and small ears, in a thick pelt of white fur.
We provide leadership in the conservation and management of our nation's marine mammals under our jurisdiction – sea otters, Pacific walruses, polar bears, and West Indian manatees – as well as the marine ecosystems that support them.
Sea otters floating in a group

Sea otters are a member of the weasel family (Mustelidae) and live in the near-shore waters along the North Pacific Ocean. They are the smallest of marine mammals and are excellently suited to their marine environment with adaptations in their skeletons, teeth, and fur.


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