By Science Outreach Intern Kyle Wong
the mid-20th century, river otters were considered extirpated due to the unlivable conditions of the Bay Area waterways. After the passing of the Clean Water Act, conditions started to become more hospitable for river otters and they started to return. There are few studies about river otters in California. Due to the lack of research, the River Otter Ecology Project strives for greater community understanding of river otters and their role in the surrounding ecosystem.
The talk was given by Megan Isadore, the co-founder and executive director of River Otter Ecology Project. The River Otter Ecology Project studies river otters in the Bay Area by using wildlife cameras and analyzing otter scat samples. They also compile various river otter sightings and have generated a map to visually document the extent of river otter territory.
One particular aspect of the River Otter Ecology Project that caught my attention was their citizen scientists. These volunteers, who monitor various areas for otter sightings and collect scat samples, are not that different from the citizen scientists in our Colonial Waterbird Program. Seeing the diligent work of other wildlife conservation groups reminded me of all the great work that citizen scientists do all over the Bay Area.
I enjoyed hearing about another organization committed to conservation and look forward to attending my next science talk, which are free to current SFBBO members and open to the general public at a small cost. For information about how you can be a guest science talk speaker for SFBBO, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Science Outreach Intern Kyle Wong leads our family and youth science programs and helps organize participation in various outreach program. You can reach him at email@example.com.
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