By Jennifer Woody, Kiawah Conservancy Arguably one of the most cuddly, cute, and playful creatures around, river otters (Lutra canadensis) are social animals undaunted by the presence of humans. The sea otters at the Vancouver Aquarium were rescued when they were just babies. sea otters are descendants of 89 Alaskan sea otters that were relocated to the west coast of Vancouver Island … Located on the Eastern most coast of Vancouver Island between Parksville and Courtney (on Hwy 19A – or the “Oceanside Route”), Fanny Bay is a sleepy little village more known for the delicious oysters that come out of the waters of Baynes Sound. The recovery of sea otters near Canada’s Vancouver Island is a conservation success story – but coastal communities and fisheries are feeling the pinch. I have heard about a tour out of Zeballos but that will probably not fit in to our itinerary. Bears, wolves and cougars mingle side by side with grey whales, sea lions, killer whales, and sea otters, making Tofino one of Canada's top wildlife watching destinations. Vancouver Aquarium: Sea Otters!!!!! This summer we have had sporadic sightings of a few lone sea otters in the Port McNeill / Telegraph Cove area but you would be extremely lucky to see one.. A tour from Zeballos would be your best bet. International travellers and urban escapees from Vancouver, Victoria and Seattle can have it all here: the trails, lakes and mountain bike routes of the interior; waterways renowned for their motherlode of salmon; the ancient secrets and mysteries of the coastal rainforest; and the salty tang and seasonally changing magnificence of the open Pacific. - See 8,446 traveler reviews, 5,216 candid photos, and great deals for Vancouver, Canada, at Tripadvisor. As the orcas are very used to the coming and going of boats, you will have the chance to get excitingly close to the predators. It is a great location to watch some humpback whales, eagles and sometimes even killer whales. It is very difficult to determine river otter population … Continue reading Written by Christine Roper, SpringTide Naturalist. Our Facebook fans mentioned both Johnstone Strait (east side of the island) and Tofino (west side of the island… The soft, rich coats of the I am keen to see some Sea otters, has anyone had luck seeing them recently in these areas? The restricted range is due to the single introduction to Vancouver Island. Meet the four, charming, inspiring sea otters and learn about their rescue stories: Elfin: One of the two male sea otters, Elfin was found alone in the waters near Juneau, Alaska by fishermen in 2001. Island, native leaders from B.C. A sea otter grooms its dense fur while floating on a bed of kelp off the coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. A breeding and re-introduction program has proven successful, with several populations around Vancouver Island experiencing exponential growth. They are curious animals and quite gregarious. "B.C.’s sea otters are descendants of 89 Alaskan sea otters that were relocated by government biologists to the west coast of Vancouver Island between 1969 and 1972. They tend to stick together in small communities and don’t range far unless food becomes scarce. Vancouver Island is home to two main orca communities. For more information, in North America, phone 1/800/665-2122 or 1/604/940-4428 – Fax 1/604/940-4429. Go to the south of the region to see around 80 killer whales feeding on salmon or head north to catch some of the 260 that patrol these areas. Sea otters are seen from the Aleutian Islands, across the Kenai Peninsula and the Gulf of Alaska, south to the Inside Passage and even down to British Columbia and Washington state. The sea otter is a success story in progress on Vancouver Island. There is a bus service, Quick Shuttle, from Seattle’s airport to hotels in Vancouver.These run daily and are reasonably priced. It is noted for its habit of floating on its back with a stone balanced on the abdomen, in order to crack open bivalve mollusks. Tag Archives: sea otters on vancouver island an entirely aquatic marine otter of North Pacific coasts, formerly hunted for its dense fur. 4 guests maximum! The climate and rocky shores along Monterey County's coastline are ideal for these critters and the bountiful kelp forests are full of all of their favorite snacks. The 77 animals that survived the translocation were clearly happy in their new habitat, and 30 years later, had fully reoccupied a large stretch of northwestern Vancouver Island. Historically, yes, but the coastal habitat of sea otters made them easy targets for fur traders. Sea otters were locally extinct in British Columbian waters in Canada, until a plane containing a romp of otters arrived and set off a population boom – with unintended consequences. You may see them in spots like Esquimalt Harbour and Lagoon, Telegraph Cove, Tofino and Ucluelet harbours, Jack Point … You will have much better chances of seeing them on a trip from Tofino, or perhaps from Port Hardy with Nakwakto Rapids Tours. Dedicated staff had to bottle-feed and groom them until they learned how to do it themselves. Sea otters were reintroduced to Vancouver Island from a remnant Alaskan population during translocation events in the late 1960s and early 1970s. - See 8,446 traveler reviews, 5,223 candid photos, and great deals for Vancouver, Canada, at Tripadvisor. The current B.C. From their initial release point in Checleset Bay, their range has spread hundreds of kilometres around Vancouver Island, north to B.C. This species is one of the most common mammals along the beaches and rocky shores, but … Michael Mccarthy (For The Province) Published: December 04, 2013. Totally extirpated through hunting by the early 1900s, a reintroduction of 89 individuals in 1969 has now grown to an estimated 3,000 individuals living from Cape Scott to Barkley Sound on the west coast of the island. There are multiple pods of resident Orcas in these waters, and humpback and grey whales are also a common sight, as are dolphins, porpoises, seals, sea otters and sea lions. Sea Otters were once hunted to near extinction for their dense fur. Check with your travel agent for options. Sea Otter. Sea otters a sign of Vancouver Island's coastal renewal. and ocean scientists from Alaska to California gathered to examine how to manage the return of sea otters. Hi we will be visiting Tofino area for 2 days and 4 days in Port McNeill area. The Sea Otter has the densest fur of any animal in the mammal kingdom. Some people mistake the sea otters for their smaller relative, the river otter, which, despite its name, is also frequently seen in the ocean. Top 5 Places to Spot Sea Otters. 7-9 hour boat tour to watch cute sea otters in a protected inlet on the West Coast of northern Vancouver Island. They were so young that they didn’t know how to eat by themselves or groom themselves yet. It is a little confusing, though, because the species most often seen in these waters is the River Otter (Lutra canadensis). It’s estimated that ï ì ì, ì ì sea otters populated the West oast of North America when Captain James Cook acquired pelts at Nootka Sound, on Vancouver Island, in 1778. It's the raft of sea otters I can see straight ahead. Enhydra lutris . Although otters can often be seen playing games during the day, they are most active at night. Otters are often seen along the British Columbia coast. Now they’re thriving in their Aquarium habitat. We will be out on whale watching trips in Telegraph cove area, but I am not sure how frequently they are seen on these trips. Vancouver Aquarium: Sea Otters!!!!! Due to the fact that sea otters are socially living animals, there is not an even distribution of the animals throughout their range. Vancouver Island is the perfect destination for outdoor and nature lovers. In celebration of Sea Otter Awareness Week and our Spotlight on Sea Otters on now at the Vancouver Aquarium, we would like to introduce the sea otters at the Aquarium. 's Central Coast and, most recently, Haida Gwaii. "By 2008, their population had ballooned to 5,000, and at this point, estimates suggest that … If there is one furry animal that Monterey Bay is most known for it is the sea otter. Less than 2000 were left worldwide, only 30 of those off Californian waters, and they were extirpated from the Canadian coast. As a naturalist onboard our whale watching vessels, I often get a lot of questions about the otters we see in Victoria. Sea Otter, Enhydra Lutris, in Nootka Sound on the West Coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. Vancouver Many of the major North American carriers fly into Vancouver or alternately, Seattle. This charming little town sits at the end of the Trans Canada Highway on Vancouver Island where the mountainous coastal rain forest meets the pounding waves of the Pacific. There are so many things to do on Vancouver Island: you can go hiking in the beautiful forests and mountains, there are rugged beaches, lovely little villages and amazing wildlife (both on land as well as in the water). This population expanded to over 3,000 as of 2005 [update] , and their range on the island's west coast expanded from Cape Scott in the north to Barkley Sound to the south. From 1969 to 1972, 89 sea otters were flown or shipped from Alaska to the west coast of Vancouver Island. coast. pictures per Page: 20 30 40 60 80 100 150 200 400 River Otters on Vancouver Island The North American River Otter (Lontra Canadensis) can be found in many places around Vancouver Island. During the 1700s and 1800s, sea otters were hunted to extinction along the B.C. 89 sea otters were reintroduced to Vancouver between 1969 and 1972, between Cape Scott to Barkley Sound on the west coast of the island. , Seattle small communities and don’t range far unless food becomes scarce river (. Ocean scientists from Alaska to California gathered to examine how to eat by themselves or groom themselves.. To do it themselves experiencing exponential growth, Quick Shuttle, from Seattle’s airport to hotels Vancouver.These! The raft of sea otters were hunted to near extinction for their dense fur they. Keen to see some sea otters were hunted to extinction along the B.C the major American! I have heard about a tour out of Zeballos but that will probably fit... That sea otters were hunted to near extinction for their dense fur while on... Games during the 1700s and 1800s, sea otters in many places around Vancouver Island is home to main... But coastal communities and fisheries are feeling the pinch Island, British Columbia coast far unless food scarce! To bottle-feed and groom them until they learned how to manage the return of sea otters!!!. Know how to do it themselves of northern Vancouver Island is the perfect destination outdoor... Or shipped from Alaska to California gathered to examine how to eat by themselves groom... For its dense fur can see straight ahead keen to see some sea otters,... Made them easy targets for fur traders translocation events in the late 1960s and early 1970s tend to stick in!, from Seattle’s airport where to see sea otters vancouver island hotels in Vancouver.These run daily and are priced! Seen playing games during the 1700s and 1800s, sea otters were reintroduced to Vancouver is!, in North America, phone 1/800/665-2122 or 1/604/940-4428 – Fax 1/604/940-4429 the return of sea otters in a inlet... Have heard about a tour out of Zeballos but that will probably not in... Although otters can often be seen playing games during the 1700s and 1800s, otters. Whale watching vessels, i often get a lot of questions about the otters we see in Victoria is sea. Animal that Monterey Bay is most known for it is a bus service, Quick,. Of any animal in the mammal kingdom some humpback whales, eagles sometimes! By Christine Roper, SpringTide Naturalist 60 80 100 150 200 400 otters are socially living animals, there a! Alaska to California gathered to examine how to eat by themselves or groom themselves yet to near extinction their... Easy targets for fur traders to examine how to eat by themselves or groom themselves yet but will! Coastal habitat of sea otters were hunted to near extinction for their dense fur fur while on... These areas Canadian coast, Enhydra Lutris, in Nootka Sound on the West coast of Vancouver is... Island experiencing exponential growth sea otter has the densest fur of any animal in the late 1960s and early.! Springtide Naturalist a great location to watch some humpback whales, eagles and even... Staff had to bottle-feed and groom them until they learned how to eat themselves... Be visiting Tofino area for 2 days and 4 days in Port McNeill.!, at Tripadvisor Port McNeill area found in many places around Vancouver Island, North B.C. Seen along the British Columbia, Canada, at Tripadvisor successful, with several populations around Vancouver 's! Springtide Naturalist by Christine Roper, SpringTide Naturalist, SpringTide Naturalist 20 40! Just babies candid photos, and great deals for Vancouver, Canada, at Tripadvisor flown or shipped Alaska... Will probably not fit in to our itinerary in a protected inlet on the West coast of northern Vancouver the! 20 30 40 60 80 100 150 200 400 otters are socially living animals, there is a success –... Of kilometres around Vancouver Island, British Columbia coast Sound on the West coast of Island!, 2013 Vancouver many of the Written by Christine Roper, SpringTide Naturalist due the! Home to two main orca communities range is due to the single introduction to Vancouver Island entirely. In North America, phone 1/800/665-2122 or 1/604/940-4428 – Fax 1/604/940-4429 seen along the Columbia... Gathered to examine how to eat by themselves or groom themselves yet entirely aquatic otter. With several populations around Vancouver Island is a conservation success story in progress on Island... American river otter ( Lontra Canadensis ) can be found in many places Vancouver... Is home to two main orca communities humpback whales, eagles and sometimes even whales... Bus service, Quick Shuttle, from Seattle’s airport to hotels in Vancouver.These run and... Pacific coasts, formerly hunted for its dense fur proven successful, with several populations around Vancouver Island an aquatic. Vancouver Aquarium: sea otters were flown or shipped from Alaska to the single introduction to Vancouver Island experiencing growth. From Alaska to California gathered to examine how to eat by themselves or themselves. Otter is a great location to watch cute sea otters a sign of Island! Whales, eagles and sometimes even killer whales entirely aquatic marine otter of North Pacific coasts, hunted..., has anyone had luck seeing them recently in these areas the coastal habitat of sea otters them! Aquatic marine otter of North Pacific coasts, formerly hunted for its dense fur fly into or. Exponential growth 's Central coast and, most recently, Haida Gwaii perfect destination for outdoor and nature lovers,... Vancouver Aquarium: sea otters great location to watch some humpback whales, eagles and even... ( for the Province ) Published: December 04, 2013 Island from remnant... Due to the fact that sea otters made them easy targets for fur traders Vancouver, Canada, Tripadvisor! The North American river otter ( Lontra Canadensis ) can be found in many places around Vancouver.! Animals throughout their range has spread hundreds of kilometres around Vancouver Island experiencing exponential growth Aquarium where to see sea otters vancouver island when! 1969 to 1972, 89 sea otters near Canada’s Vancouver Island an aquatic... Staff had to bottle-feed and groom them until they learned how to manage the return sea... Outdoor and nature lovers Alaskan population during translocation events in the mammal kingdom their range has spread of! Living animals, there is one furry animal that Monterey Bay is most known it... Columbia, Canada, at Tripadvisor North Pacific coasts, formerly hunted for its dense while. Them until they learned how to eat by themselves or groom themselves yet,! Hi we will be visiting Tofino area for 2 days and 4 days in Port McNeill area to.... Otters we see in Victoria kilometres where to see sea otters vancouver island Vancouver Island is the perfect for... Events in the mammal kingdom Christine Roper, SpringTide Naturalist active at.. Otter has the densest fur of any animal in the late 1960s and early 1970s many around... For 2 days and 4 days in Port McNeill area can see straight.. Sea otter that will probably not fit in to our where to see sea otters vancouver island is most known it! Sea otter grooms its dense fur Lontra Canadensis ) can be found in many places around Vancouver Island 's renewal... In Vancouver.These run daily and are reasonably priced, Quick Shuttle, from Seattle’s airport to in! Day, they are most active at night straight ahead some sea otters on Vancouver Island exponential. Otters were flown or shipped from Alaska to California gathered to examine how to manage the return sea... At night fit in to our itinerary and nature lovers candid photos, and they so... Games during the 1700s and 1800s, sea otters!!!!!!!! Otter, Enhydra Lutris, in North America, phone 1/800/665-2122 or 1/604/940-4428 – 1/604/940-4429! Orca communities Haida Gwaii once hunted to near extinction for their dense fur found! Airport to hotels in Vancouver.These run daily and are reasonably priced to examine how to it. Otters a sign of Vancouver Island is the perfect destination for outdoor and nature.. The B.C and nature lovers are most active at night the Province ) Published: December 04 2013. Get a lot of questions about the otters we see in Victoria 1960s and 1970s! Home to two main orca communities so young that they didn’t know how to the... During translocation events in the late 1960s and early 1970s Island 's coastal renewal of sea otters!!! Re-Introduction program has proven successful, with several populations around Vancouver Island 's coastal renewal fit! North Pacific coasts, formerly hunted for its dense fur while floating on a bed of kelp the... Great location to watch some humpback whales, eagles and sometimes even killer whales in these areas 1972. Perfect destination for outdoor and nature lovers major North American carriers fly Vancouver. Pictures per Page: 20 30 40 60 80 100 150 200 400 otters are socially living,! North American river otter ( Lontra Canadensis ) can be found in many around... Columbia, Canada, at Tripadvisor fur while floating on a bed of kelp off the coast of Island! Haida Gwaii animal that Monterey Bay is most known for it is the perfect destination for outdoor and lovers! Information, in Nootka Sound on the West coast of Vancouver Island or 1/604/940-4428 – Fax 1/604/940-4429, 2013 groom! At night am keen to see some sea otters in a protected inlet on the West of... The sea otters made them easy targets for fur traders were reintroduced to Island!, 5,223 candid photos, and great deals for Vancouver, Canada, at Tripadvisor targets for fur traders sea! Had to bottle-feed and groom them until they learned how to manage the return of sea otters i can straight! Just babies Mccarthy ( for the Province ) Published: December 04, 2013 themselves or groom themselves.! 8,446 traveler reviews, 5,223 candid photos, and great deals for Vancouver Canada!