Human Journey

Sea Otters Slow Comeback May Be Tied to “Dietary Guilds”

A sea otter rests on his back as the waters of the Pacific swell beneath him. The California sea otters (Ehydra lutris) moor themselves by wrapping strands of brown kelp around their bodies. Photo by Bates Littlehales, NGS.

California sea otters were nearly hunted to extinction until a treaty in 1911 banned the fur trade. Since then, the animals have made only a modest comeback, and one scientist thinks it may be due to specialized diets followed by different groups of otters.

For all the latest science news, check out National Geographic Library’s twice-weekly news rundown, EarthCurrent.

About the Blog

Researchers, conservationists, and others share stories, insights and ideas about Our Changing Planet, Wildlife & Wild Spaces, and The Human Journey. More than 50,000 comments have been added to 10,000 posts. Explore the list alongside to dive deeper into some of the most popular categories of the National Geographic Society’s conversation platform Voices.

Opinions are those of the blogger and/or the blogger’s organization, and not necessarily those of the National Geographic Society. Posters of blogs and comments are required to observe National Geographic’s community rules and other terms of service.

Voices director: David Braun (

Social Media