The state of sea otter populations has been assessed by a comparative method using criteria such as the density of equilibrium populations (on Medny and Iturup islands), food supply, and effects of certain external factors. Optimal values of population density for larger islands have been calculated using the Arcview GIS 3.3 program. For the inhabited water area (from the shoreline to the 50-m isobath), they range from 3.1 to 3.4 ind./km2. The composition of sea otter diet and its changes on the Commander Islands, Kuril Islands, and southern Kamchatka are analyzed. The diameter of eaten sea urchins is considered as a parameter characterizing the degree of colonization of living space by sea otters. It is concluded that the abundance of these animals in the Russian part of the species range may slightly increase in the future due to the growth of their populations on the southern and middle Kurils.
Russian Journal of Ecology – Springer Journals
Published: May 15, 2006
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