Sea Otter Habitat: Ultimate Guide

sea otter habitat

Sea Otters are known to inhabit cold coastal waters along the northern Pacific ocean.

They are found in Alaska, California, and Russia, but their territory stretches as far south as Canada’s mainland and islands.

The Southern sea otter was hunted so intensely for furs that it became endangered.

It has a reclusive character and can be found in pairs or small family groups.

In this article, we will discuss an ultimate guide on sea otter habitat.

Where Do Sea Otters Live?

The sea otter (Enhydra lutris) is a marine mammal that lives in the northern Pacific Ocean.

They are found in coastal waters near rocky outcrops and reefs. Sea otters live in cold water and do not tolerate warm water well.

Sea otters live in the northern Pacific Ocean from Japan to Alaska and Canada. They range from the Bering Strait to California on the Pacific coast of North America.

The southern part of their range is limited by low sea ice coverage during winter months when they cannot dive for food or rest between dives.

There are two subspecies of sea otter: the Northern Sea Otter (Enhydra lutris kenyoni), which lives in the North Pacific Ocean.

As well as the Southern Sea Otter (Enhydra lutris nereis), who lives in the South Pacific Ocean between California and Chile.

These two populations are genetically distinct, with little gene flow between them.

What Type Of Habitat Do Sea Otters Like?

The sea otter is an aquatic mammal that lives in coastal areas of the Pacific Ocean.

The sea otter’s habitat is usually near the shoreline, but they can be found as far as 50 miles. Sea otters are very picky about their habitats.

They need a safe place from predators and easy for them to find food. Sea otters like to live in rocky areas with lots of kelp forests because many fish and other small animals hide in the kelp forests.

The sea otter’s habitat is also essential because it provides them with shade from the hot sun and protection from waves when they are sleeping.

Sea otters spend most of their time looking for food or resting on land.

Here are the types of habitats that sea otters like.

Coastal Waters

This is the most common habitat for sea otters because it allows them to find food and shelter from predators quickly.

The waters near land are usually warmer than those further out at sea, making this area ideal for raising young and mating with other members of their species during the breeding season.

Intertidal Zones

This habitat consists of areas where sandy shorelines meet rocky shores or coral reefs.

It protects from large predators such as sharks and killer whales that cannot quickly enter these shallow waters due to their inability to swim in shallow depths (such as mangrove forests).

Coastal Marine Ecosystems

Saltwater and freshwater meet in these ecosystems, usually at a river mouth or estuary.

The ecosystem includes marine species like fish and shellfish and freshwater species like salmon smolt (young salmon) and trout smolt (young trout).

Sea otters like these ecosystems because they provide lots of food for them.

Do Sea Otters Only Live In The Sea?

Sea otters live in the ocean, but they can also spend time on land. They are one of the only marine mammals that can do this. Sea otters spend most of their lives in the water.

They dive to hunt for food, play, and rest. Sea otters spend about two-thirds of each day sleeping, floating on their backs with their bellies exposed to the sun.

Sea otters usually live alone in separate territories along the shoreline or near rocky reefs. They mark these areas with piles of rocks or shells, called cairns.

When sea otters are on land, they are very clumsy and slow-moving because they don’t have flippers as other marine mammals do.

They walk on four feet and drag their body across the ground with their front paws so that only their hind feet touch the ground at all times.

Sea otters can also climb trees, although it takes them longer than other animals because they cannot climb down again without help.

Can Sea Otters Live On Land?

Sea otters are marine mammals that live in cold oceans. They spend most of their time in the water, but they have to come up for air every few minutes.

Sea otters cannot survive without a constant supply of fresh water.

Sea otters live on land only during the breeding season, when they gather with other sea otters at a particular beach area called a rookery.

A male sea otter’s home range is about 23 square miles. The female’s home range overlaps with her mate’s territory but is more minor at 6 square miles.

Males live alone before the breeding season begins and travel between several rookeries, searching for females.

They will mate once a year after a long courtship dance (this dance can last up to an hour).

Sea otters are called “boars” during this time because their main goal is mating rather than eating or resting.

When it’s time for pups to be born, males leave their mates alone on shore while they go out to sea and hunt for food until it’s time for them to return and take care of their young ones and feed them milk from their mother’s teats.

More On The Sea Otters Habitat

Sea otters are marine mammals that live in the waters of the Pacific Ocean. They have a thick layer of fat to keep them insulated from extreme temperatures.

There are two species of sea otter, the northern and southern.

The northern is found on the west coast of North America, and the southern is found along the east coast of South America. Sea otters can be found in shallow waters, reefs, kelp forests, and sandy beaches.

Sea otters spend most of their time in the water, but they also come up onto land to rest or sleep at night.

They have excellent eyesight above water but poor vision in water. Their whiskers help them travel underwater to locate food items like clams and crabs.

Sea otters live in groups called rafts that consist of related females with their young offspring called pups; males do not participate in raising pups in any way.

These rafts consist of about 12 individuals with one dominant female who leads the group; she determines where they go and what they do each day by her behavior towards other members of her group and other groups encountered during foraging activities.

Wrapping Up

The sea otter is a keystone species in marine ecosystems. They are highly dependent on the kelp forests for food and habitat.

Keeping kelp forests healthy and productive allows the sea otter to thrive. On the other hand, sea urchins function as keystone predators and can significantly alter the kelp forest environment.

Rising sea urchin numbers due to overfishing or disease wreak havoc on kelp forest ecosystems, allowing other invasive species to take over the habitat.