The sea otter population along the Southern California coast was reduced by maritime hunting in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries but not entirely driven to extinction. Based on historical sources and archival newspaper accounts, the authors have devised a conservative estimate of otter hunting activity between 1855 and 1908 and determined where hunting was concentrated. Conservation efforts in the Progressive Era and the 1970s and a translocation program in the late twentieth century have resulted in a limited population resurgence.
Sea Otter Hunting and Conservation in Southern California since the Gold Rush
Richard Ravalli is Associate Professor of History at William Jessup University. He received his PhD in 2009 from the University of California, Merced. Ravalli’s first book, Sea Otters: A History, was published by University of Nebraska Press in 2018. He lives in Auburn, California.
Michael C. McGrann received his PhD in Geography with an emphasis in biogeography and wildlife ecology from the University of California, Davis. His primary research interests lie in wildlife ecology and conservation. He also has broader interdisciplinary interests in addressing questions that explore how past and present processes have influenced the current state of the global biodiversity crisis. Dr. McGrann is Chair of the Institute for Biodiversity and the Environment at William Jessup University.
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Richard Ravalli, Michael C. McGrann; Sea Otter Hunting and Conservation in Southern California since the Gold Rush. Southern California Quarterly 1 August 2019; 101 (3): 265–284. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/scq.2019.101.3.265
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