Sea Otter Presentation

June 1, 2019 - 10:00 AM
Newport Public Library
35 NW Nye St
Newport, OR Oregon
American Cetacean Society—Oregon Chapter

Sea otter in Monterey Bay, where they still flourish.\Photo by Joe Platko.
Sea otter in Monterey Bay, where they still flourish.\Photo by Joe Platko.

The monthly meeting of the American Cetacean Society’s Oregon Chapter, coming up on Saturday, June 1, will feature a talk on “An ecological assessment of potential sea otter reintroduction to Oregon,” by guest speaker Dominique Kone.  The event, which is free and open to the public, takes place from 10 a.m. to noon at the Newport Public Library (35 N.W. Nye).

Sea otters used to exist along the Oregon coast, but were extirpated from these waters during the by hunters for the fur trade more than 100 years ago. Now, support is building for considering a reintroduction.  That is the goal of the Elakha Alliance, which Oregon Shores helped to found.

The likelihood of reintroduction success is unclear, and managers seek to better understand these knowledge gaps before deciding whether to proceed with such an effort. To address these uncertainties, two key ecological questions must first be answered:

(1)Does Oregon have suitable sea otter habitat, and what ecological or anthropogenic factors may influence the likelihood for reintroduction success?

(2)How might sea otters alter or change Oregon’s nearshore ecosystems, if they were to be reintroduced?

Kone’s talk will address these questions by explaining what answers to these questions could mean for the broader reintroduction effort.He is a master’s degrees student in the Marine Resource Management program at Oregon State University (OSU). For his thesis work, he is assessing the ecological factors and implications of a potential sea otter reintroduction to Oregon. Before coming to OSU, Kone worked in the marine and wildlife conservation field by developing and applying scientific research to inform policy and management.

For more information, contact Joy Primrose, [email protected].