Otters recovering, but still in danger

Some good news about California sea otters: “After a long, frightening decline, a new survey shows that the number of California sea otters living along the coast has increased sharply for the second straight year.” (Mercury News, registration required for viewing.)

Before that long, frightening decline, the otters had been steadily progressing towards recovery, and were set to be removed from the endangered species list when the numbers remained above 3,000 for three years in a row. The current number is just short of that – 2,825.

While 3,000 may have seemed a safe figure back when the trend line went nowhere but up, we are now aware that the numbers don’t always go up. Next year, the number could top 3,000. The federal government will have to think carefully about whether that figure still represents safety, and CGF may want to weigh in on that decision.

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