Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Sea otter abundance in Kenai Fjords national Park: Results from the 2010 aerial survey

January 1, 2011

A sea otter aerial survey was completed in Kenai Fjords National Park (KEFJ) during June of 2010. This was the third aerial survey completed since 2002 along the Kenai Peninsula, the second specifically conducted within KEFJ. Survey methodology followed the Bodkin and Udevitz (1999) method which accounts for imperfect detection. The survey took two days to complete. The estimated sea otter population for KEFJ is 1322 individuals, with an overall density of 0.89/km2 . The 2010 population estimate is similar to that of 2007 (1511 individuals, 1.02/km2 ). Sea otters were not uniformly distributed along the coastline. Higher concentrations of sea otters were found near Sandy Bay, James Lagoon, along the moraine crossing McCarty
Fjord, Nuka Bay and Nuka Island. All observed otters were in the high density stratum, defined as the 0 m to 40 m depth contour and minimum distances from shore, while no sea otters were observed in the low density stratum, which is defined as the area within the 40m to 100 m depth contour. We recommend that prior to the next aerial sea otter survey in KEFJ (scheduled for 2013), a power simulation be conducted to evaluate methods to improve precision of estimates and the ability to detect change.

Publication Year 2011
Title Sea otter abundance in Kenai Fjords national Park: Results from the 2010 aerial survey
Authors Heather A. Coletti, James L. Bodkin, George G. Esslinger
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype Federal Government Series
Series Title Natural Resource Technical Report
Index ID 70138901
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Alaska Science Center Biology MFEB