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Metadata Updated: October 29, 2023

The GIS layer "Census_sum_15" provides a standardized tool for examining spatial patterns in abundance and demographic trends of the southern sea otter (Enhydra lutris nereis), based on data collected during the spring 2015 range-wide census. The USGS range-wide sea otter census has been undertaken twice a year since 1982, once in May and once in October, using consistent methodology involving both ground-based and aerial-based counts. The spring census is considered more accurate than the fall count, and provides the primary basis for gauging population trends by State and Federal management agencies. This Shape file includes a series of summary statistics derived from the raw census data, including sea otter density (otters per square km of habitat), linear density (otters per km of coastline), relative pup abundance (ratio of pups to independent animals) and 5-year population trend (calculated as exponential rate of change). All statistics are calculated and plotted for small sections of habitat in order to illustrate local variation in these statistics across the entire mainland distribution of sea otters in California (as of 2015). Sea otter habitat is considered to extend offshore from the mean low tide line and out to the 60m isobath: this depth range includes over 99% of sea otter feeding dives, based on dive-depth data from radio tagged sea otters (Tinker et al 2006, 2007). Sea otter distribution in California (the mainland range) is considered to comprise this band of potential habitat stretching along the coast of California, and bounded to the north and south by range limits defined as "the points farthest from the range center at which 5 or more otters are counted within a 10km contiguous stretch of coastline (as measured along the 10m bathymetric contour) during the two most recent spring censuses, or at which these same criteria were met in the previous year". The polygon corresponding to the range definition was then sub-divided into onshore/offshore strips roughly 500 meters in width. The boundaries between these strips correspond to ATOS (As-The-Otter-Swims) points, which are arbitrary locations established approximately every 500 meters along a smoothed 5 fathom bathymetric contour (line) offshore of the State of California.

Access & Use Information

Public: This dataset is intended for public access and use. License: No license information was provided. If this work was prepared by an officer or employee of the United States government as part of that person's official duties it is considered a U.S. Government Work.

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Metadata Created Date June 1, 2023
Metadata Updated Date October 29, 2023

Metadata Source

Harvested from DOI EDI

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Created Date June 1, 2023
Metadata Updated Date October 29, 2023
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Identifier USGS:55e60f3ce4b05561fa2087e9
Data Last Modified 20200830
Category geospatial
Public Access Level public
Bureau Code 010:12
Metadata Context
Metadata Catalog ID
Schema Version
Catalog Describedby
Harvest Object Id fb166a15-36f9-4408-b05c-7b75eef3d258
Harvest Source Id 52bfcc16-6e15-478f-809a-b1bc76f1aeda
Harvest Source Title DOI EDI
Metadata Type geospatial
Old Spatial -122.423222821,34.390245722,-120.277808487,37.200978365
Publisher Hierarchy White House > U.S. Department of the Interior > U.S. Geological Survey
Source Datajson Identifier True
Source Hash f88d432521d29ad0d9d8c4f6cebe614597e9c2e608938f3abd698b6374c564a0
Source Schema Version 1.1
Spatial {"type": "Polygon", "coordinates": -122.423222821, 34.390245722, -122.423222821, 37.200978365, -120.277808487, 37.200978365, -120.277808487, 34.390245722, -122.423222821, 34.390245722}

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