All traps and snares must be checked and all animals removed once every calendar day. North American river otters are very susceptible to the effects of environmental pollution, which is a likely factor in the continued decline of their numbers. Because the North American river otters delay implantation for at least eight months, the interval between copulation and parturition can reach 10–12 months. [15] Each otter pup weighs approximately five ounces. [30] North American river otters generally feed on prey that is in larger supply and easier to catch. [1] The North American river otter existed on all parts of the Pacific Coast, including the seashore and inland streams and lakes. North American river otters are inadvertently harvested by traps set for North American beavers, and therefore management plans should consider both species simultaneously. [32][49] Susceptibility of these species is greatest during the summer (when waterfowl broods are vulnerable) and autumn. River otter sightings have occurred annually for more than 10 years from Cedar Point south to Darby, Ohio, near Columbus. Cole West from Birmingham, West Midlands on March 03, 2020: Nive post. [25][33], Amphibians and reptiles are more obtainable by the North American river otter during the spring and summer as a result of breeding activity, appropriate temperatures, and water supply for the prey. [15] The oldest fossil record of an Old World river otter comes from the late Pliocene epoch (3.6 to 1.8 Mya). [20] It differs from the European otter by its longer neck, narrower visage, the smaller space between the ears and its shorter tail. [8], The North American river otter was first described by German naturalist Johann Christian Daniel von Schreber in 1777. [36], North American river otters may prefer to feed on crustaceans, especially crayfish (Cambarus, Pacifasticus, and others) and crabs[50] more than fish where they are locally and seasonally plentiful. [15] The North American river otter's nostrils and ears close during submersion, keeping water from entering them. Several otters have been reported in Ohio near the Ohio/Indiana border. [30] However, river otters will prey on trout, pike, walleye (Sander vitreus vitreus), salmon (Oncorhynchus spp. River otters belong to the weasel family. In all habitats, their basic social group is the family, consisting of an adult female and her progeny. The tail, which is stout and larger in surface area than the limbs, is used for stability while swimming and for short bursts of rapid propulsion. Both males and family groups travel drastically less during winter. The North American river otters avoid water bodies with gradually sloping shorelines of sand or gravel. [19] Litter size can reach five, but usually ranges from one to three. All foothold or foot-encapsulating traps set on land must have at least two swiveling points. [36] Other prey consumed by North American river otters includes fruits,[37] reptiles, amphibians, birds (most especially moulting ducks which render the birds flightless and thus makes them easier to capture), aquatic insects, small mammals, and mollusks. Weaning occurs at 12 weeks, and females provide solid food for their progeny until 37–38 weeks have transpired. [15] North American river otters characteristically approach within a few feet of a boat or a person on shore because they're near-sighted, a consequence of vision adapted for underwater sight. [25] When left unchecked, though, otter depredations can be quite significant under certain circumstances (e.g. [22] Males are, on average, 5% larger than females. [15], The North American river otter is sexually dimorphic. Now found in 52 counties, river otters are known to be reproducing in at least 10 watersheds. An entrance, which may be under water or above ground, leads to a nest chamber lined with leaves, grass, moss, bark, and hair. The Division of Wildlife’s mission is to conserve and improve fish and wildlife resources and their habitats for sustainable use and appreciation by all. [15], North American river otters consume an extensive assortment of fish species ranging in size from 2 to 50 centimeters (0.79 to 19.69 in) that impart sufficient caloric intake for a minute amount of energy expenditure. Young are born between February–April and can leave the den within eight w… All Canadian provinces except Prince Edward Island and 29 U.S. states have viable populations that sustain annual harvests. The smell and hearing abilities of the North American river otter are acute. The maximum weight and length of both sexes are attained at three to four years of age. Fur of the North American river otter is thick and lustrous and is the most durable of Native American furs. [29][30], The diet of the North American river otter can be deduced by analyzing either stool obtained in the field,[31] or gut contents removed from trapped otters. $1,600. Like sea otters, river otters also display thickest furs that ensure a limited heat loss. [15], CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (, "Expert says otter attacks are rare after St. Pete dog killed", "Dog attacked by otters in Lakewood, homeowners say", "7 Surprising Facts About the Giant River Otter", "Multigene phylogeny of the Mustelidae: Resolving relationships, tempo and biogeographic history of a mammalian adaptive radiation", 10.1644/1545-1410(2002)712<0001:LM>2.0.CO;2, "North American River Otter – National Wildlife Federation", "Basic Facts About North American River Otters", "Distribution and abundance of river otter in Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota", "Food habits of the river otter in Suisun Marsh, Central California", "Feeding relationships of river otters in northeastern Pennsylvania", Food habits of the North American river otter (, "Social Networks and the Formation and Maintenance of River Otter Groups", "Art Lander's Outdoors: Once endangered river otters now likely to be found in Kentucky for generations", Colorado Otters May No Longer Need Protection, "Final report of the North American river otter research project on the Upper Colorado River Basin in and adjacent to Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado", https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Lontra_canadensis/, COSEWIC assessment and status report on the Grizzly Bear, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=North_American_river_otter&oldid=993186694, Articles with unsourced statements from May 2009, Srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 9 December 2020, at 06:45. Litter size is typically one to three kits, however they can range up to five. [45] In 2010, the Colorado Department of Wildlife reported the species, reintroduced in the 1980s, was "thriving" and recommended its protection status be reconsidered. Chris Dwyer, river otter project manager, conservatively estimates Ohio’s otter population is now at least 2,100 animals. Other native animals scarce in Ohio 100 years ago and now re-established include the wood duck, bald eagle, wild turkey and the white-tailed deer. Adrienne Cleveland 132,886 views. and redhorses (Moxostoma spp. North American river otters have transparent nictitating membranes to protect their eyes while swimming. North American river otters also may use a birdlike chirp for communication over longer distances, but the most common sound heard among a group of otters is low-frequency chuckling. In the area of Ohio where Heartland is located, the amount of river otters is estimated to be low to rare. [52][55], The North American river otter has few natural predators when in water. Water quality and development inhibit recovery of populations in some areas. Molalla the Baby River Otter Learns to Swim - Duration: ... Wild River Otters Playing (lots of fun) - Duration: 3:22. The North American river otter is found throughout North America, inhabiting inland waterways and coastal areas in Canada, the Pacific Northwest, the Atlantic states, and the Gulf of Mexico. The North American river otter scent-marks with feces, urine, and possibly anal sac secretions. [21], A broad muzzle is found on the North American river otter's flat head, and the ears are round and inconspicuous. where can u get river otters. While swimming at the surface, the dorsal portion of the North American river otter's head, including nostrils, ears, and eyes, is exposed above water. ), chubs (Semotilus spp. how to measure jaw spread TRAPPING REGULATIONS Except for river otters, there are no restrictions on bag limits. [34] Fish remnants were found present in 91.9% of the scat samples. Home ranges of males are larger than those of females, and both sexes exhibit intra- and intersexual overlap of their domains. The species name was Lutra canadensis. Home ranges of North American river otters increase in size on oiled areas compared to unoiled areas, and individual otters also modify their habitat use. [33] Specific species of reptiles and amphibians prey include: boreal chorus frogs (Pseudacris maculata); Canadian toads (Bufo hemiophrys); wood frogs (Rana sylvatica);[34] bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana); green frogs (Rana clamitans);[36] northwestern salamanders (Ambystoma gracile); Pacific giant salamander (Dicamptodon ensatus); rough-skinned newt (Taricha granulosa);[33] and garter snakes (Thamnophis). During the dry season, they will recede from the marshland and move to permanent ponds, where water is available and food is in greater supply. Otter fur is a rich, dark brown and is lighter on th… [25] Other fish an integral part of the North American river otters' diets are those that are often plentiful and found in large schools: sunfish (Lepomis spp. A short, broad rostrum for exhaling and a long, broad cranium define the relatively flat skull. For example, a study conducted in a central California marshland indicated crayfish formed nearly 100% of the river otter's diet at certain times of the year. The river otter is protected and insulated by a thick, water-repellent coat of fur. Live fish are typically eaten from the head. The newborns start playing at five to six weeks, and begin consuming solid food at 9–10 weeks. During walking, the limbs are moved in a plane parallel to the long axis of the body. Female North American river otters give birth in these burrows, producing litters of one to six young. North American river otters can remain underwater for nearly 4 minutes, swim at speeds approaching 11 km/h (6.8 mph), dive to depths nearing 20 m (22 yd), and travel up to 400 m (440 yd) while underwater. To learn more about river otters, check out ODNR's "Mammals of Ohio… The mammal is found all throughout the waterways and coasts of North America. [15] On land or ice, the North American river otter is considerably more vulnerable. North America's largest North American river otter populations were found in areas with an abundance and diversity of aquatic habitats, such as coastal marshes, the Great Lakes region, and glaciated areas of New England. In some regions, though, their population is controlled to allow the trapping and harvesting of otters for their pelts. [1], North American river otters often reside in beaver ponds. From 1986-1993, Ohio implemented its own reintroduction plan in which 123 river otters were released at four locations in Eastern Ohio. The face is broad, and the eyes protrude slightly. Fur of senescent river otters may become white-tipped, and rare albinos may occur. [34][49] Invertebrates discovered within scats or digestive tracts could most likely be a secondary food item, first being consumed by the fish that are subsequently preyed upon by the North American river otters. North American river otters also currently inhabit coastal regions throughout the United States and Canada. The charismatic sea otters are federally illegal due to the Marine Mammal Protection Act. [36] A study conducted on captive otters revealed they preferred larger fish, ranging from 15 to 17 centimeters (5.9 to 6.7 in), more than smaller fish, ranging from 8 to 10 centimeters (3.1 to 3.9 in), and they had difficulty catching fish species less than 10 centimeters (3.9 in) or larger than 17 centimeters (6.7 in). [12] [10][23][24], The right lung of the North American river otter is larger than the left, having four lobes compared with two for the left. North American river otter inhabitation is affected by type, distribution, and density of aquatic habitats and characteristics of human activities. Starvation may occur due to excessive tooth damage. [4] Instances of North American river otters eating small mammals, such as mice and squirrels, and occasionally birds have been reported as well. [33], Adult North American river otters are capable of consuming 1 to 1.5 kilograms (2.2 to 3.3 lb) of fish per day. Fish is a favored food among the otters, but they also consume various amphibians (such as salamanders and frogs[3]), freshwater clams, mussels, snails, small turtles and crayfish. Eyes are small and placed anteriorly. Acid drainage from coal mines is a persistent water quality issue in some areas, as it eliminates otter prey. [15], Threats to North American river otter populations in North America vary regionally. Additional premolars may be present. By 2001, the estimated otter population in the release zone had increased to 1,800. These animals most likely came from Indiana’s release efforts. Native Ohioans. Along the southern shore of western Lake Erie, not only have they been seen in Cedar Point, but Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge located just 15 miles east of Toledo, Magee Marsh Wildlife Area and the Toussaint River. [10], The North American river otter was first classified in the genus Lutra; Lutra was the early European name. Most river otters will start reproducing at 2 years old. Little Blue River (Crawford Co.) 23 otters (14M:9F) released in 1999. [49] The few occurrences of mammals found in the North American river otter's diet include: muskrats (Ondatra zibethicus); meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus); eastern cottontails (Sylvilagus floridanus); and snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus). In addition, North American river otters can contract jaundice, hepatitis, feline panleucopenia, and pneumonia. Crustaceans may even be consumed more than fish. Poor water quality, stream pollution and deforestation during the late 1800s and early 1900s caused their disappearance from Ohio. 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