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Procedures and rationale for marking sea otters captured and treated during the T/V Exxon Valdez oil spill

January 1, 1990

Four methods were used for marking sea otters (Enhydra lutris) captured and treated during the response to the T/V Exxon Valdez oil spill. Colored and numbered flipper tags were placed on each sea otter that was brought to the otter treatment centers. These tags allowed individual recognition and permitted the tracking of individuals through the treatment and holding processes. Recovery of tagged carcasses may provide a crude measure of the fates of rehabilitated otters. Seven sea otters were instrumented with radio transmitters attached to flipper tags as part of a pilot release program. The results of that study were inconclusive. Forty-five sea otters were implanted with radio transmitters as part of a study to assess the fate of rehabilitated sea otters. Specific objectives of the study include estimating survived rates and monitoring the reproductive success of the sample of rehabilitated sea otters and comparing the results with similar variables in a control population. Transponder chips were injected in the perianal region of all but seven of the instrumented sea otters, and all were tagged with red flipper tags. The advantages and disadvantages of each type of tag are discussed.

Citation Information

Publication Year 1990
Title Procedures and rationale for marking sea otters captured and treated during the T/V Exxon Valdez oil spill
DOI 10.5962/bhl.title.45854
Authors A.R. DeGange, T.D. Williams
Publication Type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Series Title Biological Report
Series Number 90(12)
Index ID 70188995
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Alaska Science Center