According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, government scientists identified killer whales as the No. 1 reason there are so few sea otters in southwest Alaska.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's proposed five-year, $15 million recovery plan for sea otters in the Aleutian Islands considered a slew of possible reasons for the perilously low numbers found in some areas.
The draft recovery plan released this week said there is only one threat considered to have high importance: predation by killer whales, with sharks perhaps being a factor.
Nearly all other factors, including climate change and impacts from humans, were considered to have low importance.
Now, this news has to be driving the environmentalists and Greenpeace nuts. Sea otters are getting fewer in numbers due to… Mother Nature. Not because of global warming, not because of hunting, not because the ice caps are supposedly melting but because Orca’s are eating them for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Don’t get me wrong - I love otters. River otters and sea otters have long been my favorite animal. When I lived in Florida a few years ago I had a river otter that lived along the course of one of my daily walks. When I lived in California, I used to go to an isolated area of the beach and observe sea otters on a regular basis. I loved watching them dive down and get clams and mussels, then float on their backs with a rock on their stomachs, break open the mussel and eat it. It was amazing and they were beautiful.
In 2009, several animal rights groups stated that although the Orca isn’t exactly endangered, its numbers are falling drastically and more efforts are needed to bring the population back up. So if one animal near the endangered species list is eating another that is already on the endangered species list, now what happens? Do we talk to the Orcas about their diets and try to get them to change? Do we relocate the otters to a less dangerous neighborhood? Maybe the Orcas could join “Otter Eaters Anonymous”, and have weekly meetings where they swear off otters, thus increasing the population over time…
Whatever happens you know someone (humans) will have to stop doing something to save the otter. Even though government scientists say it’s not the fault of man, some group or groups will decide that this report is wrong and that man is still the cause of every bad thing in the world – even those non-existent bad things. You can’t believe government scientists can you? After all, they are the ones who are pushing the global warming thing, climate change, rising sea levels, etc. Hmmmm.
Maybe some violent leftist group can blow up the shores and icebergs where the otters live, thus forcing them to move somewhere else and flee those evil, ravenous Orcas? They can do it in the name of conservation and animal rights – you know – like those who blow up ski lodges and ski lifts in the name of saving the animals.
Or maybe Cass Sunstein, Obama’s head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, can lead the way for a lawsuit by the otters against the Orcas and against the evil men who may have possibly caused this to happen in some completely unverifiable way. After all, Sunstein was the one who suggested, several years ago, that animals should be able to sue people using other people to represent them. (Yes folks, this man is in the White House.)
Whatever happens, it’s bound to be interesting. How do you stop a species from becoming extinct when another species that is close to becoming extinct is using them for food? I’ll be interested to see how they work this one out.