Posted by mike on March 01, 2001 at 22:17:48:
In Reply to: Re: They sure are destructive...??? posted by kelphead on March 01, 2001 at 18:53:07:
based on the available research, sea otters do not appear to increase alpha(local) (bio)diversity. They seem to very sharply decrease it. Judging from what is known about them, they may well have always been relatively rare, after all, they are living at the edge of their physiological tolerance and seem to require very large home ranges in order to survive, and appear to be rather nomadic, following their food sources as they exhaust them or the climate/ecosystem changes. To the extent that we value biodiversity, the otters are a (locally) negative influence (that and quite frankly, Homo sapiens hates competition!) They are aquatic weasels (taxonomically speaking), and act accordingly. The $64,000.00 question seems to be; they had been here before we were, what were the effects of their presence then, and how have we altered the equation?
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