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Curious: The Long Life And Long Death Of Oregon Sea Otters

A sea otter at the Oregon Coast Aquarium.
Matt Kieffer
A sea otter at the Oregon Coast Aquarium.

Newport Beach, 1907. That was the last time and place anyone saw an Oregon sea otter alive in the wild, and that one was killed.

The lustrous fur of the animals made them popular targets for hunting, until there were none left. And efforts to reintroduce them have failed, twice.

Hannah Wellman at the University of Oregon is researching the otters' importance to the indigenous people of the Oregon coast, and possible pathways to successful reintroductions.

She joins us in this month's edition of Curious: Research Meets Radio, our joint project with UO.

Link: The Elakha Alliance leads the effort to reintroduce otters.

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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily talk show focused on news and interests across our region of Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the senior producer, Charlie Zimmermann is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.