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Project Information

Title: Lingering Oil and Sea Otters: Pathways of Exposure and Recovery Status

Project Year and Number: 2004: 040620-2

Other Fiscal Years and Numbers for this Project: 2006: 040775, 2005: 040775, 2004: 040775

Principal Investigator (PI): Jim Bodkin, DOI

Assisting Personnel: None

Research Location: Prince William Sound

Restoration Category: Research

Injured Resources Addressed: Sea Otters

Abstract: Some of the strongest evidence of continuing effects of lingering oil from the Exxon Valdez oil spill comes from long term monitoring of sea otter populations and their exposure to hydrocarbons. Population recovery remained incomplete as of 2002, and individual sea otters continue to exhibit elevated levels of the Cytochrome P450 1A biomarker in areas where lingering oil deposits are most prominent. Work in progress is quantifying home ranges of sea otters at northern Knight Island relative to known intertidal lingering oil deposits, but relocation sampling limits our ability to link foraging behaviors to oiled shorelines. To address the question of where individuals are foraging relative to lingering oil requires data on foraging depths. In 2003 USGS will be instrumenting 20 of the radio-instrumented sea otters at Knight Island with time-depth-recorders. These instruments will provide accurate information on the proportion of each individuals foraging that occurs in intertidal habitats, the area where known oil deposits remain, for one full year. Surveys of population size and individual P450 measures will provide continuing information on population trend and individual exposure to lingering oil.


Geographic Regions Prince William Sound
Species Marine Mammals - Sea Otters
Fields of Expertise Contaminants/Toxicology
Technological Methods Geographic information systems/Mapping
Radio Tagging
Remote sensing – In Situ
Tissue sampling/biopsy

Proposal: View PDF (223 KB)

Funding Recommendations: View

Funding Detail For: 2004 , 2005 , 2006

Quarterly Project Tasks For: 2004 , 2005 , 2006

Annual Reports: 2004: View (28 KB) 2005: View (36 KB) 2006: Not Applicable

Final Report: See Project 205

Publications from this Project: None Available

More information may be available for this project under other years:

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Project Number Proposal Annual Reports Final Report Data
2006: 040775 View (PDF) 2006: Not Applicable
2005: View (PDF)
2004: View (PDF)
In Review Prior to Publication - For More Information Please Contact Us No datasets