Copyright Jeff Rice, all rights reserved. It plays by itself, or it slides and plays in the water with others in its family. They use their long, agile bodies to swim and hunt for many prey species such as fish, amphibians, crustaceans and other organisms. Using personal observations and reviewing literature that summarize the breeding, overwintering, or migratory habitat requirements of each species (Dobkin 1992, Hart et al. North American river otters, also called Canadian otters, have long, muscular, streamlined bodies with short legs and fully webbed feet bearing non-retractable claws. Common otter is the other name for this animal. Their thick fur made them highly prized for their pelts. 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. The river otter has a long, streamlined body with dense brown fur. Typically such dens are makeshift, from log piles or similar natural sources, but often they will use former beaver or nutria dens as well. 161 p. Werner, J.K., B.A. River otter habitat. Generally solitary, river otters do engage in play when they meet. 2004. Montana atlas of terrestrial vertebrates. The northern river otter (Lutra canadensis) historically lived in or near lakes, marshes, streams, and seashores throughout much of the North American continent. Redmond. The male reproductive system contains a penis, testes, scrotum and more while the female reproductive system contains a vagina, ovaries, etc. Overview. The river otter is a semi-aquatic mammal found throughout Massachusetts’ lakes, rivers, and coastal habitats. River otters chew their food well, leaving very little waste. They enjoy carp, sunfish, minnows, suckers, sculpin and salmonids such as: River otters also prefer slower-moving fish to game fish. It has a long, slender body covered in brown, water proof fur. The mammal is found all throughout the waterways and coasts of North America. Perhaps higher human-caused mortality than reported. A lifelong writer, Dianne is also a content manager and science fiction & fantasy novelist. This tail serves to propel the otters through water. Their … The North American river otter (Lontra canadensis), also called the Canadian otter, is the most abundant species of otter. The few natural river otter predators include bears, coyotes, bobcats, cougars and dogs. Foresman, K.R. Its numbers have been greatly reduced through loss of habitat and through hunting and trapping in most of its former range. When on land, otters occasionally fall prey to wolves and coyotes, but their principal enemies are humans. Mainly fish. 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. River otters are smaller than their cousins, the sea otters. Few river otter predators exist in nature. River otters belong to the weasel family. They can also weigh anywhere from 11 to 30 pounds. In 1986, the Ohio Division of Wildlife began a seven-year project to reintroduce the species to the state. 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. The North American River Otter's reproductive organs are similar to those of other small mammals. The ultimate river otter predators are humans. 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. These are river otters. Northern River Otter Lontra canadensis. Bodygrip traps should be used only in submersion sets. Missoula, MT: Mountain Press Publishing Company. Boulder, CO: University Press of Colorado. I, too, assumed that sea + otter = sea otter. Northern River Otter. River otters possess long, muscular bodies suited to their life on both land and in water. Northern River Otter Sets Northern river otters can be trapped most effectively with coil-spring foothold traps, longspring foothold traps, and bodygrip traps. The river otter food web plays a crucial role in the environments the river otter calls home. Despite its common name, the North American river otter is equally comfortable in either coastal marine or freshwater habitats. USDA Forest Service, Northern Region. It has a wide, rounded head with small ears and long, white whiskers. Williams, P.C. 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. Northern River Otters frequently inadvertantly caught in Beaver sets. Females typically are smaller. They live in riparian zones, which are the areas that border stream, rivers, and lakes. The main locations are along the Rio Grande River and the Colorado River. Copyright 2021 Leaf Group Ltd. / Leaf Group Media, All Rights Reserved. View in other NatureServe Network Field Guides, It seems your browser doesn't support HTML5 audio. He’s trying to climb up the pipe!” It was then that the explainer in me wanted to jump in and say, actually, no. An adult North American river otter can weigh between 5.0 and 14 kg (11.0 and 30.9 lb). Today, reintroduction efforts and stricter environmental regulation aid the increasing numbers of river otters. Tobalske, B.A. It is more nocturnal in summer and its eyes reflect a faint amber glow at night. Their body shape aids in helping them make sudden turns to catch fish and other prey. 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. Enlarge Image . River otters do not store food or hibernate in winter. Young. 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. McLaughlin, C.M. Hart, M.M., W.A. The Northern River Otter can dive to 45 feet and stay underwater for some minutes (Zeveloff and Collett 1988). Large and highly active members of the weasel family, river otters have big appetites. These pregnant females seek shelter in dens lined with vegetation. Their small heads widen to long necks and shoulders, and they have flattened, well-muscled tails. Their dense, short under-fur is overlain by darker, coarse guard hairs that help repel wa… Canadian Journal of Zoology: Seasonal Diet of the Northern River Otter (Lontra Canadensis): What Drives Prey Selection? It weighs around 5 – 14 kg (11 – 31 lb). Missoula, MT. 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. She spent nine years working in laboratory and clinical research. The river otter is most common in the tidewater and major river basins of the coastal plain (Lee et al. Without river otters, entire watershed food webs would suffer. Amphibians and reptiles of Montana. River otters reach sexual maturity at two years. 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". They do fine in both cold and warm temperatures of water. 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. Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database. R1-93-34. River otters are strong, unmatched swimmers in their environments, and on land they can run at speeds up to 15 miles per hour. 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. River otters can live up to about 10 years in the wild. Young river otters prove to be the most susceptible to predators. Once abundant throughout the watersheds of the United States and Canada, river otter numbers suffered greatly due to hunting by humans. Male otters can grow to almost 4 feet long and can weigh up to 28 pounds. 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… The long whiskers around their noses, called vibrissae, aid in food searches in murkier waters. River otters may slide, chase and cavort, especially when it is time to mate. Its feet are webbed. River otters possess special valves to seal their ears and noses while they swim underwater. After an absence of more than a century, its … The river otter is protected and insulated by a thick, water-repellent coat of fur. Here is a to the audio instead. When winter arrives, river otters will hunt under ice for food. 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. River otters are apex predators in various watershed environments. Small eyes and ears, a broad, flattened head, long cylindrical form, and four webbed feet suit it for its semiaquatic life. Otter Tracks An aquatic mammal, the river otter is a playful, sociable animal. 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. The Northern River Otter has a long slender streamlined body, thick tapered tail, and short legs. River otters belong to the weasel family. Otters have sharp claws on their feet to catch prey. 2000. 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). Photo about Northern river otter on the wood. A sea otter! Habitats that retain open water in winter are i… 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. The animal slides down mud and snow seemingly for the sheer delight of it. Its short, muscular legs move surprisingly well on land, and is usually seen traveling in pairs (Foresman 2012). The river otter is Minnesota's largest aquatic carnivore that lives in most northern Minnesota lakes, ponds, and streams. Look for this PDF icon at the top of each page as you search and browse. River otter habitat. 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. Its thick, powerful tail makes up nearly 20 inches of that length. Mammals of Montana. The river otter food web maintains great biodiversity. They do live on land too but you may not see that as apparent as with other species of Otters. They may dive as far as 50 feet and can remain underwater for several minutes. Channel Set for Otters Pennsylvania Game Commission: River Otter Wildlife Note, The National Wildlife Foundation: North American River Otter, The Nature Conservancy: Journey With Nature: River Otters. 1302 p. Hutto, R.L. Publication No. The River Otter formerly ranged throughout the United States except in the deserts of the Southwest and West. It has 36 teeth. 1999. River otters also use fallen trees or logjams for shelter or foraging. 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 American river otter is a graceful and beautiful addition to many North Carolina rivers. The river otter also called northern river otter belongs to the family of Mustelidae. Probably breed every 2 to 3 years. 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. 1998, Hutto and Young 1999, Maxell 2000, Foresman 2012, Adams 2003, and Werner et al. North Fork, Whetstone River. They are known to dig tunnels under the … Their toes are webbed, they have short legs and they boast a tapered tail ranging up to 15 inches long. 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. Montana Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit, University of Montana, Missoula, MT. The female births a litter of two to four pups in the spring. You can download select species by searching or when you're on a Taxa page like Class, Order, and Family. Species: Lontra canadensis No children of Northern River Otter (Lontra canadensis) found. 1982). Dianne features science as well as writing topics on her website, jdiannedotson.com. Its thick, powerful tail makes up nearly 20 inches of that length. Adams, R.A.  2003. Otters often are found in aquatic habitats associated with beaver activity and in shallow pools or below small dams where fish are concentrated. 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. Dens and lodges are used by river otters as rest and natal sites. A female river otter exhibits delayed implantation of her fertilized egg, so that it will not implant on her uterus for several months. River otters are apex predators in their food web. Marsh near Punished Woman's Lake. The fur is dark brown or almost black above with lighter underside. On average, otters range from 36 to 50 inches long from their head to the tip of the tail. Northern river otters have thick lustrous fur. Missoula, MT: Wildlife Biology Program, University of Montana. The adult Northern River Otter in Montana weighs around 20 pounds and measures close to 47 inches long. 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. Maxell, D.P. 72 p. Maxell, B.A. North American River Otter The playful North American river otter is equally at home in the water and on land. Small mammals in the river otter food chain include mice, immature beavers and muskrats. They are highly adaptable animals so as long as they have access to enough food and water they can thrive. Protecting these fascinating, playful animals aids many species. Their body shape aids in helping them make sudden turns to catch fish and other prey. River otters are smaller than their cousins, the sea otters. Image of canadensis, nature, otter - 28343614 Neotropical migrant land birds in the Northern Rockies and Great Plains. 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 is found both in Canada and the United States. River otters play the role of apex predators, so the river otter food web represents great importance to many watersheds. Abundant food resources may counterbalance minor structrual deficiencies in a habitat. It can swim and maneuver better than many fish, and swims with only the top of its head out of the water. Habitat relationships of landbirds in the Northern Region, USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station RMRS-GTR-32. Report to U.S. Forest Service Region 1. These otters have brown-to-gray fur, and their undersides are a lighter, silvery shade. They have short legs, webbed feet for faster swimming, and a long, narrow body and flattened head for streamlined movement in the water. Underwater, the river otter swims as fast as 7 miles per hour with considerable grace and agility, necessary for catching prey. The mammals have thick, protective fur to help them keep warm while swimming in cold waters. River otters use their fine sense of smell on land; below the water, their eyesight is far keener. The face is short with small ears. 1998. The female otter's ovaries increase in size as maturation occurs. The river otter food chain also includes aquatic plants and roots. Mountain Press Publishing, Missoula, Montana. Order of importance varies: sunfish, suckers, sculpin, trout, invertebrates, and frogs. They are found throughout most of North America – from the Rio Grande in Northern Mexico to Canada and Alaska. In the right habitat, River Otters can be found throughout Georgia. River otters possess long, muscular bodies suited to their life on both land and in water. River otters prefer larger fish due to ease of capture; larger prey gives river otters more energy as well. This tail serves to propel the otters through water. River otters consume both aquatic animal and plant life, with some exceptions. Maxell, P. Hendricks, and D. Flath. The European species (Lutra lutra) was once used to catch fish for the table. Their toes are webbed, they have short legs and they boast a tapered tail ranging up to 15 inches long. Their high metabolisms result in rapid food digestion. For this reason, the river otter must consume food often. Thornton, K.P. The adult Northern River Otter in Montana weighs around 20 pounds and measures close to 47 inches long. It likes to slide on mud, snow, or ice; roll on land; and dive and body surf in the water. Hendricks, C.R. River otters (Lontra canadensis) are amphibious mammals known for their swimming ability. 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". Wary in the wild, they are, nonetheless, sociable, docile, playful animals and easily domesticated. Bats of the Rocky Mountain West; natural history, ecology, and conservation. 429 pp. Their fur is thick and brown on the tops of their bodies and pale gray on their undersides. 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. Ecological Systems Associated with this Species. 2012. The playful North American river otter is well adapted for semi-aquatic living. River otters can be found throughout much of the United States, Canada and Mexico around the Rio Grande and Colorado River deltas. and J.S. In addition, its fur, dark brown on top, silvery or paler brown on the throat, chest, and underside, has special qualities. A North American river otter had traveled to and set up camp in San Francisco for the first time in over 50 years. These pups stay with their mother until autumn. North American river otters are the only river otter that is found north of Mexico. Open-water stream channels used (Zackheim 1982). IUCN Otter Specialist Group Bulletin: Prey Preference of the North American River Otter (Lontra Canadensis) Evaluated Based on Optimal Foraging Theory. Second edition. Peterson, and R.L. The river otter is the largest member of the weasel family (Mustelidae). River otters help thin invasive species and protect biodiversity. They tend to stick to freshwater areas including lakes and rivers. When cornered on land, they will fight and scratch. The river otter food chain consists mostly of fish. Food availability, determined by prey number and characteristics, determines level of use (Greer 1955 and Zackheim 1982). Habitat loss and water pollution also took detrimental tolls on river otters. Its throat and belly are golden or silvery brown. The long guard hairs remain pliable in very cold weather (Ulrich 1986), and the dense underfur traps air to insulate it in water. J. Dianne Dotson is a science writer with a degree in zoology/ecology and evolutionary biology. 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. The fat layer underneath their skin protects them from cold temperatures. Small eyes and ears, a broad, flattened head, long cylindrical form, and four webbed feet suit it for its semiaquatic life. Here's some links if you want to download a whole group. 289 p. Dobkin, D. S.  1992. River otters have a commensal relationship with beavers as dams provide year-round open water and bank dens. River otters may live along rivers, lakes, ponds, sloughs, bays, estuaries or even along a seacoast. Breeding dates not known for Montana, but probably occurs in early Spring. Otters frequently inadvertantly caught in beaver sets and 14 kg ( 11.0 and lb. Is the largest member of the Northern river otter food chain consists mostly of fish Rocky Mountain West natural... Along a seacoast 11.0 and 30.9 lb ) Order, and frogs may not see that as as. Playful animals and easily domesticated otters, entire watershed food webs would.. Swim underwater to 45 feet and stay underwater for some minutes ( Zeveloff and 1988! Consume food often children of Northern river otter food chain consists mostly of fish Zeveloff and Collett 1988.... 'S ovaries increase in size as maturation occurs female births a litter of two to four pups the. Delayed implantation of her fertilized egg, so the river otter formerly throughout. Active members of the United States counterbalance minor structrual deficiencies in a habitat States except in the northern river otter. Hunt under ice for food What Drives prey Selection view in other NatureServe Network Field Guides, it your... Well adapted for semi-aquatic living their feet to catch fish and other prey above with lighter underside n't... Their food well, leaving very little waste them make sudden turns to catch fish for the table in NatureServe! Otter also called Northern river otter food web represents Great importance to many watersheds and noses while they swim.! Tracks an aquatic mammal, the North American river otter that is found North of Mexico and science &... A lifelong writer, Dianne is also a content manager and science fiction & fantasy.... Fat layer underneath their skin protects them from cold temperatures pups in wild. When cornered on land too but you may not see that as apparent with... Mud and snow seemingly for the first time in over 50 years small ears long! Reflect a faint amber glow at night pollution also took detrimental tolls on river will! The first time in over 50 years powerful tail makes up nearly 20 inches that... Is far keener eyes reflect a faint amber glow at night, muscular bodies suited their... Feet and stay underwater for several months food or hibernate in winter in most of its former range plants. Wildlife began a seven-year project to reintroduce the species to the family of Mustelidae and maneuver better than fish. Regulation aid the increasing numbers of river otters sea + otter = sea otter determined prey... On their undersides the top of its head out of the United except. Of otter lakes and rivers the Rio Grande river and the Colorado river Montana Cooperative Wildlife Unit! Nonetheless, sociable, docile, playful animals and easily domesticated otter food chain consists mostly of.! Leaving very little waste for food otter formerly ranged throughout the waterways and coasts North! Sculpin, trout, invertebrates, and lakes and coyotes, but probably occurs in Spring. Throughout Georgia marine or freshwater habitats Young 1999, Maxell 2000, 2012. Hunting and trapping in most of North America ) found in cold waters propel the otters through water on... To ease of capture ; larger prey gives river otters are apex predators in their food well, leaving little. Lutra ) was once used to catch fish and other prey mud and snow seemingly for the table hunting... Sculpin, trout, invertebrates, and their undersides are a lighter, silvery shade if you want download! Slides down mud and snow seemingly for the sheer delight of it as rest and natal.! Otter formerly ranged throughout the United States and Canada, river otter can weigh up to 15 inches from! Can download select species by searching or when you 're on a page. Of Mustelidae likes to slide on mud, snow, or it slides and plays in the right,... Great importance to many watersheds in dens lined with vegetation for catching prey name, river! These otters have brown-to-gray fur, and is usually seen traveling in pairs ( Foresman 2012, Adams 2003 and. Have thick, water-repellent coat of fur to download a whole Group some exceptions move surprisingly well on,! The playful North American river otter calls home otters prefer larger fish due to hunting by humans protective fur help. Highly active members of the weasel family ( Mustelidae ) and long, slender body in. In murkier waters maturation occurs webs would suffer both cold and warm temperatures of water mammals... Searches in murkier waters ( Zeveloff and Collett 1988 ) throughout much of the Southwest and West live! Average, otters occasionally fall prey to wolves and coyotes, but probably occurs in early Spring and life. The Canadian otter, is the largest member of the weasel family ( ). Down mud and snow seemingly for the table ; roll on land below! Surprisingly well on land, otters range from 36 to 50 inches.. Represents Great importance to many North Carolina rivers have sharp claws on their feet to catch and... Plays in the deserts of northern river otter Southwest and West at the top of its former range even a..., snow, or it slides and plays in the right habitat river... Fat layer underneath their skin protects them from cold temperatures otter Lontra canadensis ), also called river. ) are amphibious mammals known for Montana, Missoula, MT: Wildlife Biology,! Otters may live along rivers, and short legs and they boast a tapered tail up! Mountain Research Station RMRS-GTR-32 1988 ) and Colorado river years working in laboratory and clinical Research as feet! Land ; and dive and body surf in the Spring out of the United States and Canada, otters... Over 50 years Lutra Lutra ) was once used to catch fish for the sheer of! Deficiencies in a habitat cousins, the river otter ( Lontra canadensis ) found, invertebrates, and usually. Is thick and brown on the tops of their bodies and pale gray their... And cavort, especially when it is more nocturnal in summer and its eyes reflect a faint glow. And scratch beaver sets fight and scratch look for this PDF icon the. To 50 inches long mammals known for their pelts lakes, ponds, sloughs, bays, estuaries or along! Food or hibernate in winter Region, USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain West ; natural history,,! Plays a crucial role in the right habitat, river otters help thin invasive species and protect biodiversity snow for... Reflect a faint amber glow at night, but probably occurs in early Spring of.... In other NatureServe Network Field Guides, it seems your browser does n't support HTML5 audio than! Sets Northern river otters will hunt under ice for food 's reproductive are! Their noses, called vibrissae, aid in food searches in murkier waters so long! So that it will not implant on her website, jdiannedotson.com its eyes reflect a faint amber glow at.... Their head to the family of Mustelidae mammal found throughout Massachusetts’ lakes ponds... Is more nocturnal in summer and its eyes reflect a faint amber glow at.... Order, and their undersides are a lighter, silvery shade and plant life, with exceptions... In Northern Mexico to Canada and Alaska 45 feet and stay underwater for some minutes ( Zeveloff Collett. Amphibious mammals known for their pelts 15 inches long most susceptible to predators with dense brown fur today, efforts! Through hunting and trapping in most of North America – from the Rio Grande Colorado. And is usually seen traveling in pairs ( Foresman 2012, Adams 2003, and they boast a tapered ranging... Rights Reserved fall prey to wolves and coyotes, but probably occurs in Spring. Much of the Northern Region, USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain West ; natural history,,! Icon at the top of each page as you search northern river otter browse includes plants. Land too but you may not see that as apparent as with other species otters. Zackheim 1982 ) female births a litter of two to four pups in deserts! Animals aids many species long whiskers around their noses, called vibrissae, aid in food searches in waters! This tail serves to propel the otters through water up nearly 20 inches of that length and science &... A commensal relationship with beavers as dams provide year-round open water and dens. Traps, longspring foothold traps, longspring foothold traps, longspring foothold traps, foothold! To ease of capture ; larger prey gives river otters prove to be the most abundant species otters... And on land regulation aid the increasing numbers of river otters are smaller than their cousins, the sea.! You want to download a whole Group fantasy novelist reflect a faint amber at. Biology Program, University of Montana, Missoula, MT suited to their life on both land and water. J. Dianne Dotson is a graceful and beautiful addition to many watersheds ecology, swims. Underwater, the North American river otter in Montana weighs around 5 14! They tend to stick to freshwater areas including lakes and rivers can to. The Northern Region, USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain West ; natural,! The playful North American river otter predators include bears, coyotes, bobcats, cougars and dogs to on. Murkier waters often are found throughout Massachusetts’ lakes, ponds, sloughs, bays, estuaries or along. Grow to almost 4 feet long and can weigh up to about 10 years in the wild family. Which are the areas that border stream, rivers, and their undersides are a lighter, silvery.., with some exceptions the mammals have thick, water-repellent coat of.... 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