Sea otter voyeurs! a window on a Monterey Bay coastal research preserve
Oct25

Sea otter voyeurs! a window on a Monterey Bay coastal research preserve

Otter-cam peers into protected Elkhorn Slough The sea otter (Enhydra lutris) is perhaps the most charismatic of megafauna. It holds hands with its fellows as it backfloats on the waves, paddling idly with a foot, and tows its babies around in an almost cartoonishly adorable furry embrace. It uses tools to crack the open its shellfish meals and tumbles like a circus contortionist in relentless pursuit of clean (prerequisite of warm)...

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Animal Jurisprudence

by Liza Lester, ESA communications officer. AFTER co-authoring a 2005 paper imagining “Re-wilding  North America” with giant Bolson tortoises, camels, horses, cheetahs, elephants and lions, Harry Greene received a lot of hate mail. Corresponding ecologists hated the idea of deliberate transcontinental introductions of any kind. The plan smacked of impractical, dangerous, hubris and many ecologists didn’t buy African elephants and...

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New love for the endangered uglies?

The California Condor has enjoyed a comeback despite its relative ugliness. So-called charismatic megafauna have traditionally captured the attention of the public, becoming the poster children for zoos, aquariums and conservation organizations. This public affection for attractive animals has also translated into legislation: Cuddly and economically important animals get more money under the Endangered Species Act, regardless of...

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