Olive the oiled sea otter gives birth
09/11/12 -- Facebook followers of “Olive the Oiled Otter” received long-awaited news: Scientists spotted her with what they believe is her first pup. The birth of Olive's pup is a milestone in oiled wildlife rehabilitation as this is the first pup born to a previously oiled sea otter in California.
In early August, researchers from the Department of Fish and Game’s (DFG) Santa Cruz-based Marine Wildlife Veterinary Care and brought Olive into a mobile veterinary lab posted at the Harbor for her first veterinary exam since her release. The team determined she was about half-term pregnant. She was given new flipper tags and released back to her capture site.
“Olive,” who was estimated to be a year old at the time of her rescue in February 2009, earned her name during rehabilitation at the facility funded through ’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR), when researchers used olive oil as part of the intensive bathing process.
“After being rehabilitated, she was released back into the wild on April 7, and we’ve followed her since,” said Laird Henkel, manager of the Santa Cruz-based research center. “In recent months, she’s been known to frequent a surf spot in Capitola known to locals as ‘The Hook’. Olive has successfully re-integrated back into the wild, socializing with other otters and foraging normally.”
DFG scientists made a visual observation of Olive (without a pup) on August 18, and then she took a short vacation from her normal resting area in Capitola, making her difficult to find for a few weeks. Her transmitter was heard back in Capitola on September 7, and Olive was spotted swimming on her back clutching a newborn pup tightly to her chest. Initial observations indicate that Olive is an attentive mother, frequently grooming, nursing and holding her pup.
DFG biologists will continue monitoring Olive and her pup at a safe distance to document her success in the wild while minimizing disturbance to the new family.
DFG works with the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the U.S. Geological Survey to study the ecology and population trends of the Southern Sea Otter, which is listed as a federally threatened species. Results of the 2012 sea otter survey listed a population index of 2,792, which represents a very small increase in number and reverses the downward trend of the last few years.
This month also marks the 10th anniversary of Sea Otter Awareness Week on Sept. 23 – 29, which provides the opportunity to educate the public about sea otters, their natural history and the conservation issues they face. Additional information on Olive’s progress and photos are available at facebook.com/Olivetheoiledotter. General information on sea otter research is also available at dfg.ca.gov/ospr/Science/sea_otter_research.aspx.
Photos for media use provided by US Geological Survey and DFG.
More Outdoor News
August 2016 CDFW Calendar of Events
Hunting with an Airbow?
07/28/16 -- I’ve been learning about the Benjamin Pioneer Airbow and am curious about the legal status of using these for hunting. It seems to be the functional equivalent of a crossbow and so I would think they would be...Full Story
ODFW Weekly Recreation Report07/27/16 -- Bear season opens Aug. 1. Some districts are reporting an early berry crop so it might be good year to get out early. Hunters have until September 30 to purchase a fall bear tag. Gray whale sightings; gray whales are migrating...Full Story
Archery with Lighted Arrow Nocks
07/23/16 -- We are bow hunters and are wondering if there are any regulations against using lighted arrow nocks? They turn on when shot from your bow and stay on until you turn them off. They operate by a small lithium battery...Full Story
Dangerous Algae found in Shasta LakeBy Gary Heffley
07/15/16 -- All persons are being cautioned against any body contact, digesting of water and especially allowing pets in and around areas where bluegreen algae is present. This bacteria laden algae can cause many symptoms...Full Story
Putah Creek Wildlife Area Reopens
CDFW July 2016 Calendar
OR Funding Task Force Meets June 3006/24/16 -- The legislative task force on Funding for Fish, Wildlife and Related Outdoor Recreation and Education will hold its sixth meeting at the State Capitol on Thursday, June 30 from 10 a.m. to 3:45 p.m., in Room HR 50...Full Story
Boating Facilities Grants Available
Rafting and Reflecting on the American
06/12/16 -- When I looked at the list of outdoor activities for this year’s Outdoor Writers Association of California (OWAC) spring conference, a rafting trip down the American River practically jumped off the page...Full Story
In Search of the Elegant Trogon
05/18/16 -- I’ve always been fascinated with birds, but I really became hooked on bird-watching, or birding, as it’s often called, during the mid-seventies when I was a rookie Fish and Game warden down on the Colorado...Full Story
The Mudhen King
03/21/16 -- Revered by the Ahwahneechee, later congressionally designated as a Wild and Scenic River, the South Fork Merced originates on the southern slope of Triple Divide Peak in Yosemite National Park. Part of the Clark ...Full Story
A Letter to Ted Trueblood
01/28/16 -- Although you probably know what’s on my mind, I think you understand that it’s important for me to tell you anyway. You, Corey Ford, Nash Buckingham, Robert Ruark, and Ernest Hemingway were writers who wrote... Full Story
Flat tires! Are They Undetectable?
11/02/15 -- Modern vehicles handle very well. So it is understandable when some people tell us they did not notice one tire was flat and drove several miles on the flat, destroying the tire. The first time I had heard this... Full Story
‘Every Kid in a Park’ program starts09/06/15 -- Whiskeytown National Recreation Area is inviting all 4th grade students to visit the park for free as part of the White House’s new ‘Every Kid in a Park’ program. Starting September 1, 4th grade students can now...Full Story
Poaching in the Parks
08/29/15 -- The recent killing of Hwange National Park’s beloved icon, Cecil the Lion, has brought to mind a number of outrageous poaching incidents that occurred right here in California -- all of them inside national parks, state parks... Full Story
Those Wonderful Wildlife Caregivers
07/18/15 -- One of the more disheartening, sometimes discouraging aspects of a wildlife officer’s job is dealing with injured, orphaned, or imprinted wildlife that cannot be released back into the wild. Wildlife rehabilitation facilities, most of... Full Story
06/01/15 -- Adjacent to the eastern border of Lassen Volcanic National Park is a remote volcanic plateau on the eastern slopes of what was once Mt. Tehama. Cinder cones, crater peaks, old-growth forest, and azure lakes make up... Full Story
A Jewel in the Desert
05/25/15 -- In late April, before summer set in, Kathy and I decided to spend a few days in the land of blistering sands and sharp thorns. I had worked in the California desert during my early years with the California Department of Fish... Full Story
Don’t kill them all! Some snakes are good!
04/27/15 -- Most survivalists and Preppers spend a good deal of time outdoors as do many other Americans. Many people have a healthy fear of snakes, and given the fact that there are several species of venomous snakes that are...Full Story
Marijuana Wars and the California DFW
04/16/15 -- Just after daylight in September 2014, four California Department of Fish and Wildlife officers and four Nevada County Sheriff’s deputies quietly locked their vehicles and began what was to be an arduous hike... Full Story
‘Preppers’ & Disaster Preparedness Myths
04/14/15 -- We live in a world where civilization, reason and logic are said to be at historic heights, yet so many people today, especially our youth, are making new lows in relevant intelligence and labor under a host of myths and illusions...Full Story
A Happy Dog is a Panting Dog
04/07/15 -- Bigfoot’s number one pet is the wolverine but for us humans it’s the canine. Americans are projected to spend $60 billion this year on pets! A large portion of this goes to dogs. We all love our dogs and generally...Full Story
Show Respect and Pass Through Quietly
03/05/15 -- “Quick, roll up the windows!” said Kathy. We had just entered the ten-mile auto tour route at Lower Klamath National Wildlife Refuge, when four cars roared by us like we were standing still. Pulling to the side of the road...Full Story
Tactical Survival Axe, AKA: ‘The Bruiser’
02/24/15 -- I am not an expert with edged weapons, even though I have a trunk-load of them, including the old Buck hunting knife that my Dad gave me when I was a teenager many moons ago. So with that said, I wanted to share...Full Story
02/24/15 -- Much like fantasy baseball, winter is the “hot stove” season for high elevation wilderness adventures. It is time to study and plan for the upcoming summer. But instead of preparing to draft players, we find...Full Story
A Problem Requiring a Different Approach
02/08/15 -- Most survival strategies and related tactics used today draw upon the methods that were used or which worked in past small-scale localized and regional disasters, and will likely work again to some extent in similar...Full Story
Firearms and Disaster Preparedness
01/19/15 -- With the start of the new-year, there always seem to be several articles that come out promoting guns as part of a preparedness solution. And it’s an unfortunate fact that firearms have become almost synonymous with Prep... Full Story
Getting Kids Hooked
01/06/15 -- Now, more than ever, we need to get our kids involved in the outdoors. Many kids are becoming softer and lazier with each generation, losing touch with nature, depending on technology to instantly learn everything, presumably...Full Story
Survival Using RVs
12/26/14 -- Over the past year many people have reached-out to me asking the same question; ‘What can people do to survive a catastrophic event besides sailing to an island on a bug-out boat? This was of course a natural... Full Story
For the Love of Ducks
12/23/14 -- With the north wind blowing off snow-covered Mount Shasta, it was brutally cold that December afternoon in 1960. Sitting in the back seat of our family car, I spotted an enormous flock of snow-white birds feeding in the... Full Story
Disaster Preparedness Strategies – Part II
11/25/14 -- Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series of Disaster Preparedness articles written by Capt. William E. Simpson, USMM. The first was an attempt to simplify the subject of disaster preparedness by focusing on risk...Full Story
Disaster Preparedness Strategies – Part I
Making Friends With The Neighbors
10/14/14 -- There are few animals in nature that match the majestic beauty of a stallion running wild and free. They rule their territory by day and by night. Recently, my wife Laura and I decided to change adventures...Full Story
10/08/14 -- Southwest of Mt. Lassen lies a remote and largely forgotten piece of Cascade foothill region. Dark basaltic cliffs and pinnacles adorn inhospitable river canyons, carved by what is now Mill and Deer Creeks, through bad...Full Story
Tall Trees and Emerald Waters
10/06/14 -- Kathy and I recently attended the Outdoor Writers Association of California (OWAC) fall conference on the aptly-named Wild Rivers Coast. Stretching from Port Orford, Oregon to Klamath, California, the Wild.... Full Story
Lassen National Volcanic Park
07/21/14 -- Lassen National Park is one of the best kept secrets in the National Park system. It may be hard to call a place that has over 400,000 visitors a year a secret but compared to Yosemite’s 2.5 million and the 9.4...Full Story
Peak Bagging in WinterBy Jim Broshears
02/11/13 -- Peak bagging, according to peakbagging.com/ refers to climbing mountains. When a summit is reached, it is “bagged”. You don’t have to go to exotic locations to enjoy this sport, or even be an elite mountain climber...Full Story
The Mystery of the Middle Fork – Part III
04/09/14 -- Our search for Tuck’s lost meadow continued in 2013. After three previous trips and multiple days of searching, you might be wondering why we don’t just call it a day. Or possibly question why we have not... Full Story
The 'Death Wobble' -- Be Safe Not Sorry!
03/31/14 -- Death Wobble is not to be confused with a front-end shimmy or a wheel balance problem. A Death Wobble (DW) is very common on vehicles with a solid front axle. It has earned its name, not from mechanics but by vehicle... Full Story
The Mystery of the Middle Fork -- Part II
03/10/14 -- Our return to the Middle Fork of Feather River would take place in August of 2012. Having nearly 10 months to plan the next exploration, we, of course, waited until the last minute decide our course of action... Full Story
The Mystery of the Middle Fork -- Part I
02/15/14 -- Part #1 Exploring the Middle Fork of the Feather River -- Stories about hidden valleys, waterfalls, canyons and fishing are part of outdoor folklore. Most of these tales begin with “When I was a kid we went to this place” and...Full Story