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north american river otter scientific name

north american river otter scientific name

However, water pollution, uncontrolled trapping and severe habitat loss have reduced the number of river otters. You can be an incredible ally for conservation! These river otters are also a carnivorous mammal belonging to the Mustelidae family, and were first described in 1777 by the German naturalist Johann Christian Daniel von Schreber.. Main Characteristics A third eyelid, or nictitating membrane, protects the eye and allows the otter to see when swimming underwater. 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. Fur trapping in the 19th century brought river otter populations to very low populations, but they have returned to the healthy waterways and lakes of the Pacific Northwest. They also receive mice, carrots, hard-boiled eggs, clams, crayfish, dry kibble, crickets and live fish for variety and enrichment. Tail long and slightly tapered toward the tip with musk-producing glands underneath. 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. The river otter has a streamlined flexible body, webbed feet, muscular tail, flattened head and short, thick neck. In the wild, these otters are solitary, except during mating season or when females are raising young. 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. 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. During winter, otters are active during the daytime. Although they bear the name ‘River Otter’, these otters will readily take to marine habitats as well. Are you a hunter? By the early 1900s, river otters had declined throughout large portions of their historic range in North America. Food: Otters are seafood lovers, with fish, mussels, crayfish, frogs, and other aquatic species all on the menu. The taxonomy of otters puts them as the L Canadensis species. Females are usually a third smaller than males. North American river otters are likely the most numerous of the otter species. 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. Scientific Name North American River Otter: Lontra Canadensis Distribution and Habitat Geographic Range. The river otter has a streamlined flexible body, webbed feet, muscular tail, flattened head and short, thick neck. Pups grow rapidly and emerge from the den at about 2 months of age. North American River Otters are large compared to most other semi-aquatic mammals, and adults can be as long as 5 feet and weigh more than 30 pounds. They often live … The Buttonwood Park Zoo participates in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan (SSP) for North American River Otters. 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. They prefer unpolluted water with a minimal human disturbance. Behavior: Social, they often live in groups including a mother and pups or small groups of all males. River otters exhibit a variety of vocalizations, ranging from whistles and buzzes to twitters, staccato chuckles, chirps and growls. River Otters live both in water and on land. North American river otter * Adopt Me. Different studies have placed the breeding season in winter, late spring and summer. 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. Each pup weighs about 5 ounces. Otters pose no threat to humans, but in rare cases they have been known to attack dogs. Their aquatic habitats can be both marine and fresh water: streams, rivers, lakes, ponds and marshes. 4. The Buttonwood Park Zoo participates in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan (SSP) for North American River Otters. Organize or attend a stream, river, lake or other waterway cleanup in your area to preserve aquatic habitats for local species. 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. An extremely adaptable animal, otters tolerate hot and cold climates, as well as high elevations and lowland coastal waters. Scientific Name. North American River Otter. Mammals. Although called river otters, their name is somewhat misleading. Otters are sexually dimorphic, with males about 5% larger than females. Otter’ly Amazing Facts. Northern River Otters. 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 short dense fur is dark brown. Otters reach sexual maturity at 2 to 3 years of age. Their small heads widen to long necks and shoulders, and they have flattened, well-muscled tails. Adopt a river otter. So much so, that Massachusetts has an "Otter River". The North American river otters are currently behind-the-scenes. 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. Like other carnivores, their teeth are well adapted for grinding and crushing. River otters are carnivores that hunt fish, crustaceans, frogs, salamanders, waterfowl and their eggs, aquatic insects, reptiles, mollusks, and small mammals. At this point, they eat solid food but are not completely weaned for another month or two. Identifying Features. River otters eat mostly aquatic organisms, including fish, frogs, crayfish, turtles, insects and some small mammals. Now more than ever, we need your support. Their dense, short under-fur is overlain by darker, coarse guard hairs that help repel water. It can weigh up to 30 pounds and as long as 60 inches long when fully grown. Lontra canadensis Category. 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