thumbnail

Age-specific reproduction in female sea otters (Enhydra lutris) from south-central Alaska: analysis of reproductive tracts

Canadian Journal of Zoology

By:
, , and
DOI:10.1139/z93-258

Links

Abstract

We estimated age at sexual maturity and age-specific reproductive rates by examining carcasses and reproductive tracts from 177 female sea otters (Enhydra lutris). Carcasses were recovered from south-central Alaska, Primarily from western Prince William Sound, as a result of the T/V Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989. We found 65% of our sample to be sexually mature. Sexual maturity was first attained at age 2. The proportion of sexually mature animals increased from 30% at age 2 to 100% at age 5. Annual reproductive rates increased from 22% at age 2 to 78% at age 5 and remained relatively stable (75-88%) through to age 15. the sex ratio (female:male) of 49 fetal sea otters was 18:37 and differed significantly from parity. Females younger than 8 tended to produce more female fetuses, while older mothers did not. Our estimates of the reproductive characteristics of female sea otters obtained by examination of reproductive tracts were similiar to those reported in the literature based on in situ observations of marked individuals.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Age-specific reproduction in female sea otters (Enhydra lutris) from south-central Alaska: analysis of reproductive tracts
Series title:
Canadian Journal of Zoology
DOI:
10.1139/z93-258
Volume:
71
Issue:
9
Year Published:
1993
Language:
English
Publisher:
NRC Research Press
Contributing office(s):
Alaska Science Center, Alaska Science Center Biology MFEB, Alaska Biological Science Center
Description:
5 p.
First page:
1811
Last page:
1815
Country:
United States
State:
Alaska