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3203 SE Woodstock Blvd, Portland, OR 97202, USA

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Dr. Shawn Larson is the Curator of Conservation Research at the Seattle Aquarium. She has been working at the Seattle Aquarium since 1995 where she currently conducts conservation research projects, supervises the water quality lab and assists in animal health activities such as wildlife rehabilitation. Shawn has been studying marine mammal physiology, genetics, population biology, and ecology for 23 years and is widely published.  Her book Sea Otter Conservation (Elsevier, 2015) has been called the “sea otter bible,” and Dr. Larson suports work looking at sea otters as an endangered keystone species.

Sea otters: Population status worldwide, an update on their recovery and their long history with people and how they shaped Pacific coastal communities

The sea otter (Enhydra lutris) story is one of partial recovery from widespread extirpation from the Maritime Fur Trade (1741-1911), which eliminated 99% of sea otters throughout the North Pacific nearshore. In the first half of the 20th century these remnant groups subsequently recovered to pre harvest levels in many parts of its range. Yet in many areas sea otters remained extinct. Management actions in the second half of the 20th century resulted in successful translocations that account for 30% of the otters today. However, many areas remain unoccupied or underoccupied suggesting otters have not fully recovered. What does full sea otter recovery look like? Here we explore the long history people have had with sea otters dating back 1000s of years, from Indigenous peoples to the maritime fur trade to the present day. The sea otter is still recovering in many parts of its range. With its recovery comes more interactions with humans, both positive and negative.

3:50pm Snacks & Socializing
4:10pm Talk Begins

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