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Data for Southern Sea Otter Range Expansion and Habitat Use in the Santa Barbara Channel

February 7, 2017

The current study was designed to provide critical information for resource managers (specifically the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, henceforth BOEM, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, henceforth USFWS) about the spatial ecology, population status, and potential population threats to sea otters in Santa Barbara Channel, with particular reference to exposure to manmade structures and sources of oil and natural gas. Our four primary research objectives were:

1. Determine the extent of movements and spatial use patterns by sea otters along the southern California coast
2. Identify important sea otter resting and foraging areas adjacent to manmade structures
3. Assess sea otter distribution, behavior and habitat selection in the vicinity of natural oil and gas seep areas (e.g., Coal Oil Point, Santa Barbara County)
4. Combine data on tagged animal movements, habitat use patterns and population distribution (acquired during this study and from previous studies and USGS monitoring activities), to create population-level risk of exposure models for spatially explicit threats such as natural oil seeps or hypothetical oil spill scenarios.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2017
Title Data for Southern Sea Otter Range Expansion and Habitat Use in the Santa Barbara Channel
DOI 10.5066/F7JS9NMV
Authors M. Tim Tinker, Joseph A Tomoleoni, Nicole L. LaRoche, Lizabeth Bowen, A. Keith Miles, Mike Murray, Michelle Staedler, Zachary H. Randell
Product Type Data Release
Record Source USGS Digital Object Identifier Catalog
USGS Organization Western Ecological Research Center