Several boaters spotted and photographed a sea otter feeding in Tomales Bay, in northern California this week, the first confirmed sighting of a sea otter in the bay since 2005.
Nature photographer Richard Blair took the above photo from the boat.
Tomales Bay is a long narrow inlet of Marin County, in northern California. It is located approximately 30 miles (48 km) northwest of San Francisco. National Park Service biologist Sarah Allen said the otter was probably a male, and likely stopping by on its way back to the southern sea otters’ “core area.” Male sea otters disperse around the California coast in the wintertime. To see them actually enter Tomales bay is very rare.
After a slow recovery from near-extinction in the 1930s California sea otters have struggled for the past decade, with the population fluctuating between 2,500-3,000 individuals, according to data from the US Geological Survey. The most recent three-year population average,released by the USGS in November, was 2,882, up from 2,792 in 2012.
Any increase in the sea otter population is one to be celebrated.
Happy Ottersday :#)