Great white sharks and orcas will eat sea otters, especially if larger prey like seals and sea lions are not available. Loss of sea otters therefore can have a huge impact on our coastal ecosystems. Sea urchins greedily graze on kelp when otters are not around, but in the presence of the predators, urchins hide in crevices and eat just the plant scraps. Sea otters must also be able to defend themselves from the cold waters in which they swim. sharks and humans are the river otters predators An otter's predators are sharks, humans and bald eagles. In the wake of this event, herbivorous sea … read more Eagles may also grab young otters if given the opportunity. Sea otters are the main predator of sea urchins and keep the urchin population in check. In the early 20th century, otters were hunted to near extinction. This type of relationship between a predator (sea otter), herbivore (urchin), and plant (kelp) is known as a trophic cascade. The complexity of trophic cascades can vary extensively from place to place, but this basic pattern is the foundation for understanding how sea otters fit into a healthy coastal environment. Then in 1914 a remnant population of about 50 southern sea otters was found along the rugged Big Sur shoreline. Young predators may kill an otter and not eat it. Common predators of sea otters include various predatory marine mammals such as orcas and sea lions. Predators. Leading mammalian predators of this species include orcas and sea lions, and bald eagles may grab pups from the surface of the water. However, the animals prove a low threat, unlike humans. The younger sea otters can also be attacked on the water surface by bald eagles. The sea otter has several natural predators from which it needs to protect itself. The government passed a law restricting otter hunting. Sea otters eat sea urchins in abundance where they both occur but also prey on crabs and other crustaceans and mollusks. “The sea urchins can be ridiculously dense,” Konar said. Sea otters, the "keystone predator" of Aleutian kelp forests, experienced dramatic population declines in the 1990's. On land, young sea otters may face attack from bears and coyotes. As top predators, sea otters are critical to maintaining the balance of nearshore ecosystems, such as kelp forests, embayments and estuaries. Bald eagles, bears and coyotes will also eat sea otters. Sea otters are a keystone species, meaning their role in their environment has a greater effect than other species. Now uncontrolled by sea otters, their natural predator — the urchin population — boomed both in body size and density. As others have written, killer whales and sharks are the biggest threat to sea otters of all sizes if they are in the ocean. 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