The population of California sea otters before fur traders arrived is believed to have been between 14,000 and 16,000. In recent years, the population has hovered around 3,000 animals. The species remains threatened by pollution, disease, and competition with fisheries. Sea otters play a key role in the ocean ecosystem; their fondness for eating urchins and other invertebrates helps keep these populations in check, contributing to the health of kelp forests.
Earthjustice, on behalf of Friends of the Sea Otter, Defenders of Wildlife, The Humane Society of the United States and Center for Biological Diversity, has been in court since 2013 to defend recovery of the sea otters.
If we fail to protect our incredible, diverse fellow species from man-made threats, they can be lost in the blink of an eye. Earthjustice, born in the same era as the Endangered Species Act, has been at the forefront of efforts to ensure this critical statute is enforced, acting in the interest of hundreds of plants and animals to ensure their survival.