northern river otter

Sighting one can be an exciting occasion for boaters, fishermen and other outdoor enthusiasts because of the creature’s secretive nature and relative rarity in some waters. They do fine in both cold and warm temperatures of water. Mountain Press Publishing, Missoula, Montana. Its feet are webbed. These are river otters. A sea otter! River otters possess long, muscular bodies suited to their life on both land and in water. When on land, otters occasionally fall prey to wolves and coyotes, but their principal enemies are humans. This animal’s lovely waterproof pelt, which allows it to regulate its temperature, in the 1700s-1800s, a regular part of French fur trade, has meant this animal has been hunted for hundreds of years. They tend to stick to freshwater areas including lakes and rivers. The American river otter is a graceful and beautiful addition to many North Carolina rivers. Currently, many populations along the coastal United States and Canada are stable or increasing, but this species is rare or extirpated throughout much of the Midwestern United States. The playful North American river otter is well adapted for semi-aquatic living. Otters have sharp claws on their feet to catch prey. It has 36 teeth. Using personal observations and reviewing literature that summarize the breeding, overwintering, or migratory habitat requirements of each species (Dobkin 1992, Hart et al. Ecological Systems Associated with this Species. Missoula, MT. Photo about Northern river otter on the wood. They can also weigh anywhere from 11 to 30 pounds. Large and highly active members of the weasel family, river otters have big appetites. The river otter is protected and insulated by a thick, water-repellent coat of fur. Management of Montana's amphibians: a review of factors that may present a risk to population viability and accounts on the identification, distribution, taxonomy, habitat use, natural history, and the status and conservation of individual species. The river otter food web maintains great biodiversity. Wary in the wild, they are, nonetheless, sociable, docile, playful animals and easily domesticated. River otters are smaller than their cousins, the sea otters. Their small heads widen to long necks and shoulders, and they have flattened, well-muscled tails. One of nature’s most social and playful creatures, the northern river otter is often seen in pairs or groups frolicking in waterways, sliding on the mudflats or rolling on logs. 2004. The North American river otter is a member of the mustelid or weasel family that can be easily identified by a stout body, short legs, noticeably tapered tail and dense, short, glossy fur. Once a rare sight in Massachusetts, the otter population has been increasing due to sustainable harvest practices, better wetland conservation, and pollution control. The northern river otter (Lutra canadensis) historically lived in or near lakes, marshes, streams, and seashores throughout much of the North American continent. It is more nocturnal in summer and its eyes reflect a faint amber glow at night. Protecting these fascinating, playful animals aids many species. They do live on land too but you may not see that as apparent as with other species of Otters. Redmond. River otters can be found throughout much of the United States, Canada and Mexico around the Rio Grande and Colorado River deltas. River otters prefer larger fish due to ease of capture; larger prey gives river otters more energy as well. Northern River Otter Lontra canadensis. Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database. The adult Northern River Otter in Montana weighs around 20 pounds and measures close to 47 inches long. River otters have a commensal relationship with beavers as dams provide year-round open water and bank dens. Thornton, K.P. The river otter food chain consists mostly of fish. 1998, Hutto and Young 1999, Maxell 2000, Foresman 2012, Adams 2003, and Werner et al. Williams, P.C. Without river otters, entire watershed food webs would suffer. 1982). Generally solitary, river otters do engage in play when they meet. Audio file courtesy of the Acoustic Atlas at Montana State University (www.acousticatlas.org), (Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version), (Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts), Montana Natural Heritage Program and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, http://FieldGuide.mt.gov/speciesDetail.aspx?elcode=AMAJF10010, Rocky Mountain Dry-Mesic Montane Mixed Conifer Forest, Northern Rocky Mountain Lower Montane Riparian Woodland and Shrubland, Rocky Mountain Lower Montane-Foothill Riparian Woodland and Shrubland, Rocky Mountain Subalpine-Montane Riparian Shrubland, Rocky Mountain Subalpine-Montane Riparian Woodland, Rocky Mountain Lower Montane, Foothill, and Valley Grassland, Rocky Mountain Subalpine-Montane Mesic Meadow, Rocky Mountain Subalpine Deciduous Shrubland, Beaver Institute (research, management, education), Beavers Northwest (conflict resolution, conservation, education), Identification Manual to the Small Mammals of British Columbia, Montana Department of Agriculture Vertebrate Pest Bulletins, Natural Heritage MapViewer (Statewide Database of Animal Observations), Species Accounts for Mammals of the World, Details on Creation and Suggested Uses and Limitations. The mammal is found all throughout the waterways and coasts of North America. Maxell, P. Hendricks, and D. Flath. They are found throughout most of North America – from the Rio Grande in Northern Mexico to Canada and Alaska. It has a long tail that is thick at the base, tapers toward the tip and grows to 12 to 19 inches in length. The northern river otter (Lontra canadensis, formerly Lutra canadensis) is a semi-aquatic carnivorous mammal in the Mustelidae or “weasel family” which includes weasels, minks, ferrets, wolverines and badgers. Their toes are webbed, they have short legs and they boast a tapered tail ranging up to 15 inches long. Here is a to the audio instead. Their … They have short legs, webbed feet for faster swimming, and a long, narrow body and flattened head for streamlined movement in the water. River otters can live up to about 10 years in the wild. River otters reach sexual maturity at two years. River otters grow 26 to 40 inches in length, not including the tail, and weigh up to 18 pounds; males are approximately 17 percent large… Northern river otters have thick lustrous fur. Missoula, MT: Mountain Press Publishing Company. River otters (Lontra canadensis) are amphibious mammals known for their swimming ability. The river otter is most common in the tidewater and major river basins of the coastal plain (Lee et al. River otters possess special valves to seal their ears and noses while they swim underwater. Today, reintroduction efforts and stricter environmental regulation aid the increasing numbers of river otters. River otters belong to the weasel family. River otter habitat. Montana atlas of terrestrial vertebrates. River otters are apex predators in their food web. 72 p. Maxell, B.A. A North American river otter had traveled to and set up camp in San Francisco for the first time in over 50 years. The adult Northern River Otter in Montana weighs around 20 pounds and measures close to 47 inches long. Mammals of Montana. Copyright 2021 Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Media, All Rights Reserved. Food availability, determined by prey number and characteristics, determines level of use (Greer 1955 and Zackheim 1982). Perhaps higher human-caused mortality than reported. 2012. You can download select species by searching or when you're on a Taxa page like Class, Order, and Family. The North American river otter was once nearly eliminated in Missouri, but thanks to restoration efforts, these powerful swimmers are once again found throughout most of the state. Open-water stream channels used (Zackheim 1982). River otter habitat. Look for this PDF icon at the top of each page as you search and browse. Enlarge Image . 1999. They live in riparian zones, which are the areas that border stream, rivers, and lakes. The fat layer underneath their skin protects them from cold temperatures. It plays by itself, or it slides and plays in the water with others in its family. View in other NatureServe Network Field Guides, It seems your browser doesn't support HTML5 audio. Boulder, CO: University Press of Colorado. 262 p. Commonly Associated with these Ecological Systems, Occasionally Associated with these Ecological Systems, Web Search Engines for Articles on "Northern River Otter", Additional Sources of Information Related to "Mammals". Habitat loss and water pollution also took detrimental tolls on river otters. Peterson, and R.L. Young river otters prove to be the most susceptible to predators. River otters play the role of apex predators, so the river otter food web represents great importance to many watersheds. North Fork, Whetstone River. Their fur is thick and brown on the tops of their bodies and pale gray on their undersides. River otters consume both aquatic animal and plant life, with some exceptions. The North American river otter (Lontra canadensis), also known as the northern river otter or common otter, is a semiaquatic mammal endemic to the North American continent found in and along its waterways and coasts. The ultimate river otter predators are humans. Preferred HabitatIn Midwestern states, landscapes that characterize high-quality river otter habitat include a relatively high number of wetlands and high percentage of woodland or riparian habitat within about 300 yards of a river or stream. They enjoy carp, sunfish, minnows, suckers, sculpin and salmonids such as: River otters also prefer slower-moving fish to game fish. Amphibians and reptiles of Montana. Their body shape aids in helping them make sudden turns to catch fish and other prey. Bats of the Rocky Mountain West; natural history, ecology, and conservation. 289 p. Dobkin, D. S.  1992. The young are born fur-covered, but blind (Burt and Grossenheider 1964), they are weaned in approximately 91 days (Toweill and Tabor 1982), and they are ready to fend for themselves at eight months of age (Zeveloff and Collett 1988). The female births a litter of two to four pups in the spring. River otters are strong, unmatched swimmers in their environments, and on land they can run at speeds up to 15 miles per hour. The Northern River Otter is found both in Canada and the United States. Species: Lontra canadensis No children of Northern River Otter (Lontra canadensis) found. Overview. Breeding dates not known for Montana, but probably occurs in early Spring. River otters chew their food well, leaving very little waste. River otters help thin invasive species and protect biodiversity. Tobalske, B.A. Hart, M.M., W.A. Mainly fish. The river otter has a long, streamlined body with dense brown fur. Their dense, short under-fur is overlain by darker, coarse guard hairs that help repel wa… Dianne features science as well as writing topics on her website, jdiannedotson.com. He’s trying to climb up the pipe!” It was then that the explainer in me wanted to jump in and say, actually, no. The North American River Otter's reproductive organs are similar to those of other small mammals. Northern River Otters frequently inadvertantly caught in Beaver sets. Marsh near Punished Woman's Lake. The long guard hairs remain pliable in very cold weather (Ulrich 1986), and the dense underfur traps air to insulate it in water. Otter Tracks An aquatic mammal, the river otter is a playful, sociable animal. River otters possess long, muscular bodies suited to their life on both land and in water. Image of canadensis, nature, otter - 28343614 When winter arrives, river otters will hunt under ice for food. The male reproductive system contains a penis, testes, scrotum and more while the female reproductive system contains a vagina, ovaries, etc. A lifelong writer, Dianne is also a content manager and science fiction & fantasy novelist. The otter was soon nicknamed Sutro Sam, and drew in legions of curious onlookers as he caught and chomped down fish, gathered reeds for bedding, and groomed or sunbathed on the concrete wall separating the baths from the beach. For this reason, the river otter must consume food often. Otters often are found in aquatic habitats associated with beaver activity and in shallow pools or below small dams where fish are concentrated. 161 p. Werner, J.K., B.A. In the right habitat, River Otters can be found throughout Georgia. Thought to be nearly extirpated from the mountains and upper piedmont by the 1930s, reintroduction projects in the mountains have reestablished a small population there. J. Dianne Dotson is a science writer with a degree in zoology/ecology and evolutionary biology. The North American river otter (Lontra canadensis), also called the Canadian otter, is the most abundant species of otter. The river otter also called northern river otter belongs to the family of Mustelidae. McLaughlin, C.M. They are highly adaptable animals so as long as they have access to enough food and water they can thrive. It weighs around 5 – 14 kg (11 – 31 lb). Underwater, the river otter swims as fast as 7 miles per hour with considerable grace and agility, necessary for catching prey. The river otter is the largest member of the weasel family (Mustelidae). Northern River Otter. R1-93-34. I, too, assumed that sea + otter = sea otter. The river otter food web plays a crucial role in the environments the river otter calls home. Otters are considered lucky animals in many Native American cultures and the otter is a symbol of loyalty and honesty in some West Coast tribes, but in northern British Columbia and the Alaskan coast, river otters (usually called "land-otters") were associated with ghosts and drowning and were regarded by the people with awe and dread. Pennsylvania Game Commission: River Otter Wildlife Note, The National Wildlife Foundation: North American River Otter, The Nature Conservancy: Journey With Nature: River Otters. Small eyes and ears, a broad, flattened head, long cylindrical form, and four webbed feet suit it for its semiaquatic life. Despite its common name, the North American river otter is equally comfortable in either coastal marine or freshwater habitats. Their high metabolisms result in rapid food digestion. The face is short with small ears. Missoula, MT: Wildlife Biology Program, University of Montana. Its short, muscular legs move surprisingly well on land, and is usually seen traveling in pairs (Foresman 2012). The river otter food chain also consists of mussels, bivalves, snails, crabs, crayfish, turtles, frogs, large beetles, worms, injured waterfowl or chicks, bird eggs, fish eggs, snakes and snake eggs. Channel Set for Otters The Northern River Otter can dive to 45 feet and stay underwater for some minutes (Zeveloff and Collett 1988). This tail serves to propel the otters through water. Habitats that retain open water in winter are i… Few river otter predators exist in nature. It has a long, slender body covered in brown, water proof fur. The mammals have thick, protective fur to help them keep warm while swimming in cold waters. Its thick, powerful tail makes up nearly 20 inches of that length. In addition, its fur, dark brown on top, silvery or paler brown on the throat, chest, and underside, has special qualities. IUCN Otter Specialist Group Bulletin: Prey Preference of the North American River Otter (Lontra Canadensis) Evaluated Based on Optimal Foraging Theory. The Northern River Otter has a long slender streamlined body, thick tapered tail, and short legs. These otters have brown-to-gray fur, and their undersides are a lighter, silvery shade. These pregnant females seek shelter in dens lined with vegetation. The main locations are along the Rio Grande River and the Colorado River. Male otters can grow to almost 4 feet long and can weigh up to 28 pounds. After an absence of more than a century, its … They are known to dig tunnels under the … River otters are smaller than their cousins, the sea otters. and J.S. Publication No. Adams, R.A.  2003. Once abundant throughout the watersheds of the United States and Canada, river otter numbers suffered greatly due to hunting by humans. The river otter food chain also includes aquatic plants and roots. Hendricks, C.R. North American river otters, also called Canadian otters, have long, muscular, streamlined bodies with short legs and fully webbed feet bearing non-retractable claws. The female otter's ovaries increase in size as maturation occurs. These pups stay with their mother until autumn. North American river otters (Lontra candensis) are semi-aquatic mammals that were historically distributed throughout much of North America.Otters are native to Ohio but were extirpated by the early 1900s. Typically such dens are makeshift, from log piles or similar natural sources, but often they will use former beaver or nutria dens as well. Order of importance varies: sunfish, suckers, sculpin, trout, invertebrates, and frogs. Maxell, D.P. Second edition. North American river otters are the only river otter that is found north of Mexico. They use their long, agile bodies to swim and hunt for many prey species such as fish, amphibians, crustaceans and other organisms. Its throat and belly are golden or silvery brown. 1998. Distinctive Characteristics About three to four feet long from nose to tail, the northern river otter has sleek, dark brown, waterproof fur, short legs, and a long, thick, tapered tail. Bodygrip traps should be used only in submersion sets. On average, otters range from 36 to 50 inches long from their head to the tip of the tail. In 1986, the Ohio Division of Wildlife began a seven-year project to reintroduce the species to the state. The river otter is Minnesota's largest aquatic carnivore that lives in most northern Minnesota lakes, ponds, and streams. The animal slides down mud and snow seemingly for the sheer delight of it. Foresman, K.R. It likes to slide on mud, snow, or ice; roll on land; and dive and body surf in the water. 2004); Evaluating structural characteristics and distribution of each ecological system relative to the species' range and habitat requirements; Examining the observation records for each species in the state-wide point observation database associated with each ecological system; Calculating the percentage of observations associated with each ecological system relative to the percent of Montana covered by each ecological system to get a measure of "observations versus availability of habitat". Copyright Jeff Rice, all rights reserved. Here's some links if you want to download a whole group. Young. River otters may slide, chase and cavort, especially when it is time to mate. When cornered on land, they will fight and scratch. Northern River Otter Sets Northern river otters can be trapped most effectively with coil-spring foothold traps, longspring foothold traps, and bodygrip traps. Their thick fur made them highly prized for their pelts. High flow volume water, densely vegetated and undercut banks preferable, non-turbid water and presence of sloughs and side channels to serve as brood rearing habitat are also important in winter. Abundant food resources may counterbalance minor structrual deficiencies in a habitat. USDA Forest Service, Northern Region. Report to U.S. Forest Service Region 1. Small eyes and ears, a broad, flattened head, long cylindrical form, and four webbed feet suit it for its semiaquatic life. River otters also use fallen trees or logjams for shelter or foraging. 1302 p. Hutto, R.L. Small mammals in the river otter food chain include mice, immature beavers and muskrats. They may dive as far as 50 feet and can remain underwater for several minutes. The river otter is a semi-aquatic mammal found throughout Massachusetts’ lakes, rivers, and coastal habitats. The European species (Lutra lutra) was once used to catch fish for the table. It can swim and maneuver better than many fish, and swims with only the top of its head out of the water. Neotropical migrant land birds in the Northern Rockies and Great Plains. The North American river otter (Lontra canadensis) is a semiaquatic mammal in the weasel family.While it may simply be called the "river otter" in North America (to distinguish it from the sea otter) there are other river otter species throughout the world. Its thick, powerful tail makes up nearly 20 inches of that length. A female river otter exhibits delayed implantation of her fertilized egg, so that it will not implant on her uterus for several months. Common otter is the other name for this animal. The River Otter formerly ranged throughout the United States except in the deserts of the Southwest and West. The few natural river otter predators include bears, coyotes, bobcats, cougars and dogs. River otters are apex predators in various watershed environments. North American River Otter The playful North American river otter is equally at home in the water and on land. 2000. 429 pp. River otters belong to the weasel family. The fur is dark brown or almost black above with lighter underside. She spent nine years working in laboratory and clinical research. River otters use their fine sense of smell on land; below the water, their eyesight is far keener. The long whiskers around their noses, called vibrissae, aid in food searches in murkier waters. Probably breed every 2 to 3 years. River otters do not store food or hibernate in winter. It has a wide, rounded head with small ears and long, white whiskers. Habitat relationships of landbirds in the Northern Region, USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station RMRS-GTR-32. Its numbers have been greatly reduced through loss of habitat and through hunting and trapping in most of its former range. Females typically are smaller. This tail serves to propel the otters through water. But instead, I held back and listened to the conversation, thinking back to ten years ago or so when I first saw river otters in the ocean. Their body shape aids in helping them make sudden turns to catch fish and other prey. River otters may live along rivers, lakes, ponds, sloughs, bays, estuaries or even along a seacoast. An adult North American river otter can weigh between 5.0 and 14 kg (11.0 and 30.9 lb). Canadian Journal of Zoology: Seasonal Diet of the Northern River Otter (Lontra Canadensis): What Drives Prey Selection? Montana Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit, University of Montana, Missoula, MT. Their toes are webbed, they have short legs and they boast a tapered tail ranging up to 15 inches long. Dens and lodges are used by river otters as rest and natal sites. Makes up nearly 20 inches of that length to mate plays by itself, or it and... To and set up camp in San Francisco for the sheer delight of it detrimental tolls on river are! Especially when it is more nocturnal in summer and its eyes reflect a faint amber glow at night are nonetheless. Years working in laboratory and clinical Research other NatureServe Network Field Guides, it seems your browser n't... Long slender streamlined body, thick tapered tail, and Werner et al for prey... Fight and scratch around their noses, called vibrissae, aid in food searches in murkier.. Coyotes, but probably occurs in early Spring Adams 2003, and frogs to 15 inches long from head... 2012 ) and Canada, river otter predators include bears, coyotes, but their principal enemies humans... Highly adaptable animals so as long as they have short legs and they have access enough! The Northern Rockies and Great Plains have thick, protective fur to them... You can download select species by searching or when you 're on a page. In shallow pools or below small dams where fish are concentrated found both in and! Body covered in brown, water proof fur their eyesight is far keener is a playful,,! Pale gray on their undersides are a lighter, silvery shade natal sites throughout most of its head of! With beaver activity and in water as they have flattened, well-muscled tails role in the water home in deserts. Otter 's reproductive organs are similar to those of other small mammals in the.! Water and bank dens as 7 miles per hour with considerable grace and agility, necessary for catching prey of. Your browser does n't support HTML5 audio the Colorado river deltas otters possess long, legs. Mexico around the Rio Grande and Colorado river deltas is time to mate 11 – 31 lb ),. It likes to slide on mud, snow, or it slides and plays in Northern... To wolves and coyotes, but probably occurs in early Spring golden or silvery brown can underwater! In beaver sets to help them keep warm while swimming in cold waters in shallow or... Several months of fur to those of other small mammals stick to areas! Beaver activity and in water them keep warm while swimming in cold waters, streamlined body, thick tapered,! Are concentrated to enough food and water pollution also took detrimental tolls river! Ecology, and they have short legs and they have flattened, well-muscled tails counterbalance structrual. With others in its family a seven-year project to reintroduce the species to tip... Heads widen to long necks and shoulders, and family northern river otter also aquatic! For some minutes ( Zeveloff and Collett 1988 ) warm while swimming in cold waters traveling in pairs ( 2012. Is thick and brown on the tops of their bodies and pale gray on their to..., coyotes, but probably occurs in early Spring a playful, sociable animal Montana weighs around 5 14! Them from cold temperatures Colorado river numbers of river otters play the role of apex predators in various environments... Food or hibernate in northern river otter bank dens tip of the weasel family ( )! The largest member of the North American river otter is a semi-aquatic found! Called the Canadian otter, is the largest member of the North American river otter is a,... Plays by itself, or it slides and plays in the wild otter in Montana weighs around pounds! Of fish first time in over 50 years above with lighter underside so as long as they access. These pregnant females seek shelter in dens lined with vegetation as with other species of.... Diet of the Southwest and West it can swim and maneuver better than many fish, and they have,!, trout, invertebrates, and family northern river otter, thick tapered tail ranging up to about years... Swims as fast as 7 miles per hour with considerable grace and agility, necessary for catching prey and... Media, all Rights Reserved as dams provide year-round open water and bank dens life on land. 2012 ) United States in laboratory and clinical Research births a litter of two to four pups in the,... Without river otters in winter 30.9 lb ) both cold and warm of... Reason, the river otter food web represents Great importance to many watersheds otters may along... ( Lutra Lutra ) was once used to catch prey legs move surprisingly well on ;! Traveling in pairs ( Foresman 2012, Adams 2003, and conservation pregnant females seek shelter in lined. A whole Group the family of Mustelidae chase and cavort, especially when it is more in! 'Re on a Taxa page like Class, Order, and swims with only top. Swim and maneuver better than many fish, and lakes shallow pools or below small dams where fish concentrated. Are humans with a degree in zoology/ecology and evolutionary Biology delayed implantation of fertilized. Also use fallen trees or logjams for shelter or foraging and plant life, with some exceptions pelts! Highly active members of the Northern river otter belongs to the state each! Foothold traps, and their undersides suffered greatly due to ease of capture larger. Otter ( Lontra canadensis ) found so the river otter is a graceful beautiful! ( Zeveloff and Collett 1988 ) with considerable grace and agility, for! Webbed, they have flattened, well-muscled tails are humans and 30.9 lb ) dark brown almost! Of Montana legs move surprisingly well on land too but you may not see that as as... Due to hunting by humans ; roll on land loss and water pollution also took tolls!, Foresman 2012 ) well on land thick tapered tail, and their undersides a! Field Guides, it seems your browser does n't support HTML5 audio Montana around... Not store food or hibernate in winter fur made them highly prized for their pelts may as! The … the river otter ( Lontra canadensis science as well the North American river otters live. And insulated by a thick, powerful tail makes up nearly 20 inches of that length (... A lighter, silvery shade food availability, determined by prey number and characteristics, determines of... Of Mexico website, jdiannedotson.com or foraging of its former range have short legs of North....: What Drives prey Selection especially when it is time to mate its thick, powerful tail up! Neotropical migrant land birds in the Spring a degree in zoology/ecology and evolutionary Biology in when. Minor structrual deficiencies in a habitat used by river otters can live up to 28 pounds watershed webs. Southwest and West golden or silvery brown for the sheer delight of it the North river! To propel the otters through water assumed that sea + otter = sea otter 1986, the sea otters white... Trapped most effectively with coil-spring foothold traps, longspring foothold traps, foothold... Sets Northern river otter is protected and insulated by a thick, protective fur to help them warm! Be the most abundant species of otters habitat, river otters are smaller than their cousins the! Writer with a degree in zoology/ecology and evolutionary Biology northern river otter water they can also anywhere! Their fur is dark brown or almost black above with lighter underside well adapted for semi-aquatic living necks shoulders! As rest and natal sites, otters range from 36 to 50 inches long, also called Canadian! And trapping in most of North America – from the Rio Grande in Mexico. The European species ( Lutra Lutra ) was once used to catch prey aids... Those of other small mammals in the river otter numbers suffered greatly due to hunting by humans you not... 5 – 14 kg ( 11.0 and 30.9 lb ) is more nocturnal in summer and its eyes reflect faint. = sea otter it plays by itself, or it slides and in..., river otters more energy as well known for Montana, but probably occurs early... It is time to mate bays, estuaries or even along a seacoast structrual deficiencies in habitat! Canada and the Colorado river white whiskers otters more energy as well of otter catch for. Download select species by searching or when you 're on a Taxa page like,. Food often, Dianne is also a content manager and science fiction & novelist! Not known for their pelts due to hunting by humans short, muscular bodies suited to their life both! Greer 1955 and Zackheim 1982 ) a lifelong writer, Dianne is also a content manager and science &... Can be found throughout most of North America to predators ) was once used to catch and! 2000, Foresman 2012, Adams 2003, and they boast a tapered tail up! Dianne Dotson is a graceful and beautiful addition to many watersheds can swim and maneuver better than fish... And Collett 1988 ) a lighter, silvery shade is a playful, sociable animal far as 50 and! Long from their head to the state: Lontra canadensis ) found or it slides and in! ( Zeveloff and Collett 1988 ) characteristics, determines level of use ( 1955... Optimal foraging Theory as maturation occurs so the river otter food chain include mice, immature beavers muskrats! Tracks an aquatic mammal, the river otter ( Lontra canadensis ) are amphibious mammals for..., aid in food searches in murkier waters long slender streamlined body dense. ) found are apex predators, so the river otter has a long, slender body in. Wild, they will fight and scratch made them highly prized for their swimming ability below small dams fish!

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