Sea Otter and Seal Populations

Topics: Sea otter, Otter, Causality Pages: 2 (379 words) Published: July 17, 2012
1.What is the mission of the Sea Otter Research and Conservation Program?
2.How do you report a stranded otter (three steps)?
3.What is so unique about a sea otter's coat and why is it vital for their survival?
4.What does the diet of a sea otter consist of?
5.Approximately how many Southern Sea Otters are there now?
6.List the steps of the chain reaction, starting with over-fishing in the open waters, that has led to the destruction of the coastal ecosystems off the coast of western Alaska.
7.List at least two forms of evidence to support the hypothesis that killer whales are preying upon sea otters.
8.A "keystone predator" is one that exerts an important regulating effect on other organisms in the community. Removing a keystone predator will result in a decrease in species diversity. Explain how the sea otter functions as a keystone predator.

9.Write a Formal Hypothesis for each of the following relationships discussed in the article.
overfishing and seal populations (See the box below for some helpful hints.)
killer whales and sea otter populations
sea otter populations and kelp forests 

For this Assessment, you should be showing cause and effect of the two given items and then make a prediction that would help you design an experiment to test the hypothesis and the relationship. For example, the overfishing and seal populations. The idea is to test to see if overfishing is having an effect on the seal populations. Remember that a formal hypothesis must be an "If ___ is related to ___, then..."statement that is TESTABLE. It is not just a statement of fact.
"If seal populations are related to overfishing, then areas with lower fishing rates will have... (higher or lower seal populations??? Pick ONE...)
You could also add..."than in areas with higher fishing rates."
Either way, the hypothesis establishes cause and effect between the fishing and the seal populations. It also makes a testable prediction as to HOW the fishing...
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