Our Species

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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Many sea otters floating in the ocean

Southern sea otters, also known as California sea otters, can be found in nearshore areas along the central California coastline, including areas of high human activity, like harbors. As a keystone species, they play a fundamental role in the natural food web, and keep important elements of...

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A large Pacific walrus bull watches the camera.

Walruses are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act, which prohibits the take (i.e., harass, hunt, capture, or kill) of all marine mammals. Please click the link provided after "For more information" to access the Service’s Marine Mammals Management Pacific Walrus website.

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Polar bears

The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) is the largest of the extant bear species and is classified as a marine mammal. Polar bears are protected under the Endangered Species Act and Marine Mammal Protection Act. The Marine Mammal Protection Act prohibits the take, which is defined as...

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