Feasibility Study

The Elakha Alliance is pleased to present this scientific Feasibility Study regarding sea otter reintroduction in Oregon, published January 2022. A team of six leading scientists (led by Dr. Tim Tinker; see list below) evaluated key dimensions of a proposed sea otter reintroduction, including source population dynamics, habitat suitability, ecological considerations, social and economic impacts, legal requirements, logistics, and more.

On July 27, 2022, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) published a Sea Otter Feasibility Assessment on the reintroduction of sea otters to Northern California and Oregon. The USFWS staff utilized the scientific findings from the Elakha Alliance’s Feasibility Study in the majority of their Assessment.

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History of Prior Sea Otter Translocations

Populations and Demographic

Genetics & History of OR Sea Otters

Ecosystem Effects of Sea Otters

Habitat Suitability

Socioeconomic Considerations

Legal Considerations

Implementation & Logistics

Animal Health & Welfare

Stakeholder Concerns & Perspectives

Overall Conclusions



Dr. Tim Tinker, principal author; Research Wildlife Biologist, U.S. Geological Survey (retired); Adjunct Professor, UC Santa Cruz, Nhydra Ecological Research

Dr. James Estes, contributing author; Ecologist, U.S. Geological Survey (retired); Distinguished Professor Emeritus, UC Santa Cruz

Dr. James Bodkin, contributing author; Research Wildlife Biologist (retired), U.S. Geological Survey Alaska Science Center

Dr. Shawn Larson, contributing author; Curator of Conservation Research, Seattle Aquarium

Dr. Mike Murray, contributing author; Jane Dunaway Director of Veterinary Services, Monterey Bay Aquarium

Dr. Jan Hodder, contributing author; Emeritus Professor, University of Oregon, Institute of Marine Biology