The Extraordinary Sea Otter

The Extraordinary Sea Otter


Southern sea otters play a critical role as a keystone species, which means they have a profound positive impact on the nearshore ecosystems in which they live. For example, by consuming sea urchins, sea otters help keep urchin populations in balance; in turn, the kelp forests flourish. For kelp forests, sea urchins and sea otters to thrive in their highly interconnected ecosystem, they must coexist with another species that has a profound impact on others: humans. Check out our storymap to learn more about how to properly coexist with these remarkable critters and to take a tour of the special places that play a part in the past, present and future recovery of California’s sea otters.

The Extraordinary Sea Otter
Mae Lacey
Conservation GIS Analyst

As the Conservation GIS Analyst in the Center for Conservation Innovation, Mae provides support and leadership for geospatial product development across Defenders.