Interannual assessment of territory quality for male sea otters (Enhydra lutris) in Simpson Bay, Prince William Sound, Alaska Academic Article uri icon


  • Territory quality and site fidelity were assessed for male sea otters ( Enhydra lutris (L., 1758)) in Simpson Bay, Prince William Sound, Alaska, during the summer months (MayAugust) from 2003 to 2006. Territory quality was coded with a score of 02 for four attributes: territory size, shoreline enclosure, territory accessibility, and number of females observed feeding in each territory. Total quality scores ranged from 0.14 to 1.96 (0.9 0.61, mean SD), with the highest quality territories having large areas, moderate to little shoreline enclosure, high accessibility, and many foraging females. A total of 13.1km2 (62.5%) of Simpson Bay was occupied at least once by a territorial male during the 4-year study, and 7.9km2 (37.5%) was never occupied by a territorial male. There were 7 2.4 (mean SD) territorial males in Simpson Bay each year. Five males maintained territories for two consecutive years, with their respective territories having a 16%34% overlap between years, indicating that repeat territory holders returned to the same area. The number of territorial sea otters, the size of territories, and whether or not a sea otter was a repeat territory holder did not significantly influence the size or quality of male territories.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Finerty, S. E., Pearson, H. C., & Davis, R. W.

citation count

  • 4

complete list of authors

  • Finerty, Shannon E||Pearson, Heidi C||Davis, Randall W

publication date

  • February 2010