Enhydra lutris nereis (Merriam, 1904)



Taxonomy & Nomenclature



Conservation Status




California, USA


Anatomy & Morphology



Biology & Ecology










Bolin, R. L. (1938). Reappearance of the southern sea otter along the California coast. Journal of Mammalogy 19: 301-303.

Geraci, R. and St. Aubin, D.J. 1999. Sea mammals and oil: Confronting the risks. Academic Press, San Diego, California, USA.

Hatfield, B.B., Yee, J.L., Kenner, M.C., and Tomoleoni, J.A. 2019. California sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis) census results, spring 2019: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 1118, 12 p.

Lidicker, W. Z., Jr. and McCollum, F. C. (1997). Allozymic Variation in California Sea Otters. Journal of Mammalogy 78(2): 417-425.

Loughlin, T.R. 1977. Activity patterns, habitat partitioning, and grooming behavior of the sea otter, Enhydra lutris, in California. Ph.D. Thesis, University of California.

Miller, M.A., Moriarty, M.E., Dodd, E.M., Burgess, T., Tinker, M.T., Batac, F.I. and Kreuder Johnson, C. 2017. The dead do tell tales: investigating sea otter mortality patterns (1998–2012). Final report. California Coastal Conservancy, Entity, Oakland, California, USA.

Ogden, A. 1941. The California sea otter trade, 1784-1848. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA, USA.

Ralls, K., Ballou, J. and Brownell Jr., R.L. 1983. Genetic diversity in California sea otters: theoretical considerations and management implications. Biological Conservation 25: 209-232.

Rathbun, G.B., Hatfield, B.B. and Murphey, T.G. 2000. Status of translocated sea otters at San Nicolas Island, California. The Southwestern Naturalist 45(3): 322-328.

Schramm, Y., Heckel, G., Sáenz‐Arroyo, A., López‐Reyes, E., Baez‐Flores, A., Gómez‐Hernández, G. and de los Ángeles Milanés‐Salinas, M. 2014. New evidence for the existence of southern sea otters (Enhydra lutris nereis) in Baja California, Mexico. Marine Mammal Science 30: 1264-1271.

Tinker, M.T., Hatfield, B.B., Harris, M.D. and Ames, J.A. 2016. Dramatic increase in sea otter mortality from white sharks in California. Marine Mammal Science 32: 309–326. doi: 10.1111/mms.12261.

Tinker, M.T., Tomoleoni, J.A., Weitzman, B.P., Staedler, M., Jessup, D., Murray, M.J., Miller, M., Burgess, T., Bowen, L., Miles, A.K. and Thometz, N. 2019. Southern sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis) population biology at Big Sur and Monterey, California--Investigating the consequences of resource abundance and anthropogenic stressors for sea otter recovery (No. 2019-1022). US Geological Survey.

Wild, P.W. and Ames, J.A. 1974. A report on the sea otter, Enhydra lutris L., in California. California Department of Fish Game, Marine Research Technical Report.


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