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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_otter

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  • ROGER L BAGULA
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_otter Sea otters, whose numbers were once estimated at 150,000–300,000, were hunted extensively for their fur between 1741
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 1, 2008
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_otter
      Sea otters, whose numbers were once estimated at
      150,000–300,000, were hunted extensively for their fur
      between 1741 and 1911, and the world population fell
      to 1,000–2,000 individuals in a fraction of their
      historic range. A subsequent international ban on
      hunting, conservation efforts, and reintroduction
      programs into previously populated areas have
      contributed to numbers rebounding, and the species now
      occupies about two-thirds of its former range. The
      recovery of the sea otter is considered an important
      success in marine conservation, although populations
      in the Aleutian Islands and California have recently
      declined or have plateaued at depressed levels. For
      these reasons (as well as its particular vulnerability
      to oil spills) the sea otter remains classified as an
      endangered species.

      Its foraging and eating habits are noteworthy in
      several respects. First, its use of rocks to dislodge
      prey and to open shells makes it one of the few mammal
      species to use tools.
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