The North American Otter (Lontra Canadensis) is a carnivorous mammal species essential to maintaining healthy aquatic environments. Otters play an important role as predators of fish and aquatic invertebrates. The North American Otters are possibly the most numerous other species in the world and inhabit a variety of diverse environments. Many otter populations have reduced, and even extinct in areas due to pollution and urbanization. Therefore, reintroduction and conservation efforts have been established to help stabilize the otter populations (NatureServe 2008).
These otters are found where there is permanent food supply and water access. They thrive in any water habitat, for example; ponds, marshes, rivers, streams, lakes, and estuary ecosystems. They are also commonly known as “river otters”, but are equally located on both land and in water. They do not migrate or hibernate. River otters, or North American otters, can survive in the cold or warm; even at high latitudes. They make their homes by burrowing near the water’s edge. Open tunnels allow them to travel between water and land. They avoid highly contaminated waters, due to pollution sensitivity. However, they have physical features that enable them to tolerate a variety of environments.
Behavior and Characteristics…show more content… The males are larger than the females by all measurements, making the otters sexually dimorphic. Otters are about 11-30 pounds and 3-4 feet long, including their tail, which makes about 1/3 of their body length. The tail is long and strong to help propel them through water. They also have short legs and webbed feet that help them swim fast and long narrow bodies with a flattened head for streamlined movement. Their fur is thick to protect them from cold waters. Because their eyes and ears close in water, the otters are capable of holding their breath underwater for 8