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North American River Otter North American river otters. Most are dark brown in color, with lighter patches on their throats and chests. Lutrinae Bonaparte, 1838 – otters : Genus: Lontra Gray, 1843 – river otters : Species: Lontra canadensis (Schreber, 1777) – North American River Otter, Nutria-de río norteamericana, northern river otter, loutre de rivière, river otter, nutria norteamericana, nutria del Canada, loutre de Canada, common otter : Direct Children: Subspecies North American river otters suffered great loss to their population, in the 20th century, due to habitat loss and water pollution. With the tail's strong, undulating movement, a river otter propels itself through the water as fast as 8 miles (13 kilometers) per hour and can easily dive to 36 feet (11 meters) or more. 4. River otters exhibit a variety of vocalizations, ranging from whistles and buzzes to twitters, staccato chuckles, chirps and growls. While young otters swim naturally, the mother must coax them into the water for their first swim. The American river otter is a graceful and beautiful addition to many North Carolina rivers. Diet Scientific Name North American River Otter: Lontra Canadensis Distribution and Habitat Geographic Range. 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. Otter pups are born with fur, but are blind and toothless. Scientific Name: Lontra canadensis. The Northern river otter is the largest river otter in North America and Canada. Habitat : Alaska and most of Canada, the Pacific Northwest, the Great Lakes and most states along the Atlantic Coast and Gulf of Mexico. The oldest living river otter on record was 27 years old. Making a list and checking it twice? Otters are sexually dimorphic, with males about 5% larger than females. The river otter is the largest member of the weasel family (Mustelidae). Like other members of the weasel family (Mustelidae), river otters have long streamlined bodies with short legs. North American River Otter. SCIENTIFIC NAME: Lontra canadensis. Although largely exterminated in the Midwest, reintroduction programs are helping river otters reclaim part of their original range. However, river otters are listed on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) because the species may become endangered if trade is not closely regulated. Scientific Name… Conservation efforts were put in place and otters were reintroduced, increasing their population. Sometimes they are mistaken for Sea Otters. The North American river otter (Lutra canadensis) is found in almost every state, including Virginia.River otters are extremely social and often frolic in the water with their mates or cubs, slide down hills on their bellies or wrestle with other otters on land. Scientific Name: Lontra canadensis. In the 1800s, trapping and the fur trade reduced their numbers. D&D Beyond In the wild, their average life span is 8 or 9 years. Other important threats include habitat loss and degradation, illegal hunting, vehicle accidents, trapping, and entanglement in fishnets and lines. Behavior: Social, they often live in groups including a mother and pups or small groups of all males. An extremely adaptable animal, otters tolerate hot and cold climates, as well as high elevations and lowland coastal waters, and can be found in rivers, lakes, ponds and marshes throughout much of North America to Canada and Alaska. River otters use their tails as rudder while swimming. North American river otters are semiaquatic mammals that do not hibernate when winter comes around. Organize or attend a stream, river, lake or other waterway cleanup in your area to preserve aquatic habitats for local species. I. Taxon. Key Information: This is the smallest of the world’s otters, about 0.9 m long, weighing around 5 kg. River otters live in many different kinds of water throughout North America, including rivers, streams, lakes, ponds, wetlands, and coastal shorelines and marshes. On land they walk, run, or slide across surfaces. North American River Otter (Lontra canadensis) is a large (1.3 m), heavy-bodied member of the weasel family that is distributed throughout Canada and the U.S., though it has been extirpated from many areas in the interior U.S. Otter’ly Amazing Facts. Adopt a red panda to give the perfect gift to the animal lover in your life — even if that animal lover is you! It can weigh up to 30 pounds and as long as 60 inches long when fully grown. The scientific name for an otter is Carnivora, with otter being its common name. They hunt singly or in pairs and although otters generally forage in water, they are equally at home on land, sometimes traveling between 10 and 18 miles (16 and 29 kilometers) in search of food. Scientific Name: Lontra canadensis. Provided it survives its first year of life, a typical North American river otter will live to the age of 12, with some surviving longer. River otters stay in family groups during the summer and early fall. When threatened or frightened, they emit a hair-raising scream that can be heard up to 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers) across the water. Facts about North American River Otter, "Scientific name for River Otter is Lontra Canadensis". They often live … MRC 5516 Otters enjoy a variety of habitats but spend most of their time in or near streams, rivers, lakes and marshes. They remain as a family unit for seven to eight months or until the birth of a new litter. Although called river otters, their name is somewhat misleading. Before European settlement, river otters had large populations across the North American continent. It has a stocky body, short legs, webbed feet, and a long tail. Information about river otter breeding and reproductive and social behavior is varied due to the difficulty of studying these animals in the wild. In Kansas, the species occurred along all the major rivers and many permanent streams. River otters have been blamed for decimating game fish populations and are seen as a pest to eradicate by many game fishermen. The otters typically capture prey in their mouths but occasionally use their thumbs and forepaws to grasp and manipulate prey. Additionally, as industrialization polluted water and water management re-routed rivers, otter numbers suffered further losses. Even when our gates are closed, we are still here, working as always to save species. Their small heads widen to long necks and shoulders, and they have flattened, well-muscled tails. Although they bear the name ‘River Otter’, these otters will readily take to marine habitats as well. The North American river otter occurs in much of Canada and the United States, except for portions of the Southwest, and in Mexico in the Rio Grande and Colorado River delta areas. North American river otters are semiaquatic mammals that do not hibernate when winter comes around. At one time, North American river otters were found throughout much of the United States and Canada. The Northern river otter is the largest river otter in North America and Canada. Regionally extinct throughout the Midwest and heavily populated areas in the east, several states have recently begun reintroduction programs. North American River Otter. North American River Otter (Lontra canadensis) is a large (1.3 m), heavy-bodied member of the weasel family that is distributed throughout Canada and the U.S., though it has been extirpated from many areas in the interior U.S. North American river otter conservation. It is encouraging to note that with these conservation programs, regulations on trapping and the improvement of water quality, the river otters are finally making a comeback in certain wetland areas. They now live primarily in the north-central and north-western United States, and various parts of Canada. Adopt a river otter. The North American River Otter is considered to be Least Concern as it is not currently declining at a rate sufficient for a threat category. Other research maintains that river otters mate for life. For the most part, the species population is stable and otters are being reintroduced into areas from which they vanished. Scientific Name: Lontra canadensis : Conservation Status: Common : River otters are furry little animals that are members of the weasel family. Scientific Name: Lontra canadensis : Conservation Status: Common : River otters are furry little animals that are members of the weasel family. Dr. Helmenstine holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and is a science writer, educator, and consultant. Otters are slender, streamlined, and flexible, which serves them well for a life in underground tunnels, and waters often congested with floating debris and aquatic plants. 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. Because they have a low tolerance for polluted water, river otters are considered by some naturalists to be a good indicator, or "keystone," species of the quality of aquatic habitats. North American river otters reach sexual maturity at two years of age. You can be an incredible ally for conservation! Males also group together. While eating and resting otters often hold hands; Otters Scientific Name. It uses its long vibrissae (whiskers) to find prey in murky water. STATUS: Poorly known. North American river otters are the only river otter that is found north of Mexico. In captivity, North American river otters can live into their 20s. At the Smithsonian's National Zoo, they eat a prepared meat diet and several types of fish. Northern River Otters. Using fertilizers sparingly, keeping storm drains free of litter and picking up after your pet can also improve watershed health. They have very dense, usually brown fur, with a long tail and webbed feet for swimming. North American River Otters have long, slender, and sleek bodies. Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute 3001 Connecticut Ave., NW Washington, DC 20008, PO Box 37012 Offspring venture out on their own before their mother gives birth to her next litter. They weigh about 4 to 6 ounces (113 to 170 grams) at birth and measure 8 to 11 inches (20 to 28 centimeters). Don't forget our special animals this holiday season! While river otters tend to live alone or in pairs, they often socialize in groups and are known for their playful behavior. In other areas, it is referred to as the Northern River Otters or the common Otter. Description. Scientific Name : Lontra canadensis. North American river otters are likely the most numerous of the otter species. Scientific Name: Lontra canadensis. They are primarily nocturnal, but become more diurnal in winter, meaning they are active during the day and sleep at night. These otters have brown-to-gray fur, and their undersides are a lighter, silvery shade. That home range shrinks drastically during breeding and rearing season. The goal of the SSP is to cooperatively manage animal populations within AZA accredited zoos to ensure the sustainability of a healthy and genetically diverse population while enhancing the conservation of this species in the wild. The male otter is generally chased away until the young are weaned and old enough to leave the riverbank, at which time they may return and help raise the pups. They also receive mice, carrots, hard-boiled eggs, clams, crayfish, dry kibble, crickets and live fish for variety and enrichment. 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 North American river otter (Lontra canadensis) is a semiaquatic mammal in the weasel family. North American river otters are the only river otter that is found north of Mexico. It belongs to the weasel family and its subfamily is the Lutrinae. The Environmental Park at SciWorks is home to two North American River Otters. Typical habitats include lakes, rivers, marshes, and coastal shorelines. The North American river otter (Lontra canadensis) is a semiaquatic mammal in the weasel family. Scientific Name. Some studies indicate that river otters pair for only a few months during the breeding season and have no further strong bonds. The den is usually dug into the bank of a stream but can be an old beaver's lodge, muskrat house or hollow tree. Classification : Mammal. Washington, DC 20013. We hope you will join us in this important work. The Buttonwood Park Zoo participates in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan (SSP) for North American River Otters. Their dense, short under-fur is overlain by darker, coarse guard hairs that help repel water. Identifying Features. These otters have brown-to-gray fur, and their undersides are a lighter, silvery shade. Now more than ever, we need your support. By the early 1900s, river otters had declined throughout large portions of their historic range in North America. Scientific Name: Lontra canadensis. The North American river otter (Lontra canadensis), also known as the northern river otter or the common otter, is a semiaquatic mammal endemic to the North American continent, found in and along its waterways and coasts.An adult river otter can weigh between 5.0 and 14 kg (11 and 31 lb). The North American River Otter (Lontra canadensis), also known as thenorthern river otteror thecommon otter, is asemiaquaticmammalendemicto theNorth Americancontinent found in and along its waterways and coasts. Their small heads widen to long necks and shoulders, and they have flattened, well-muscled tails. What is clear is that there is a delayed implantation of nine to 11 months, with actual gestation taking about 60 days. 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