Published by at December 9, 2020 The North American river otter is a stocky animal of 5 to 14 kilograms (11 to 31 lb), with short legs, a muscular neck (no smaller than the head) and an elongated body that is broadest at the hips. [8] However, they normally live about 8 to 9 years in the wild, [14] but are capable of living up to 13 years of age. 0. Otters have frequently been seen making slides in the riverbank, and zipping along them. Female otters give birth to between one and six pups. Where do otters live? The only continents without otters are Australia and Antarctica. This may sound disturbing, but is successful. They have long, narrow bodies, with long tails and short legs. [8] Form and function. River otters can be found throughout North America. They are trained to chase fish into the fisherman’s nets, and are rewarded with part of the catch and a safe home. River otters live in clean rivers, lakes, and marshes—wherever they … River otters as a whole look quite similar to weasels. This article will refer to the twelve species of river otter, information about sea otters can be viewed here. It lives only in the rivers and creeks of the Amazon, Orinoco, and La Plata river systems. One example is NCC’s Cherry Meadows property, near Kimberly, British Columbia. Located in the Rocky Mountain Trench, this area features extensive wetlands that are perfect for river otters. River otters breed between late winter and early spring. Otters around the world have faced centuries of decline due to hunting, trapping, and habitat loss. They have brown, water-repellent fur, webbed feet and long tails. In Canada, they can be found in every province and territory except Prince Edward Island, where they appear to be extirpated. The otters deposit their … You can commonly find them living in beaver dams. Submitted by: Billybob River otters are aquatic mammals (2004) Where: Otter Country. Their tiny ears close under water, and their thick fur helps keep them warm in cold water. North American River otters may be commonly found throughout much of sub-Arctic Canada, Alaska, and, within the contiguous United States, in the Pacific Northwest and along the Atlantic Coast and Gulf of Mexico. Terrestrial predators of otters include black bears and a variety of Feline and Canine species, domestic… They prefer to live in marshes and along wooded rivers and streams with pools and overhanging rocky banks. River otters can measure up to 1.4 metres in length from nose to tail, and weigh up to almost nine kilograms. The species of otter that occurs in Ireland is called the Eurasian otter and is found in Europe and across Asia to China and Japan. They will use dens made by beavers, muskrats, or woodchucks. Most otters live in dens — built by other animals, such as beavers — that are dug into the ground that have many channels and dry inner chambers. Whether it’s a lake, river, swamp or estuary, otters like a mix of land and water. It is much easier to list the habitats that river otters don’t live in than to list the areas they do. Also, it is illegal in most states to own an otter. Otters are great hunters, partially because they have sharp little teeth and a strong jaw! Their aquatic habitats can be both marine and fresh water: streams, rivers, lakes, ponds and marshes. They live in riparian zones, often in the same areas as beavers. Otter Dens. ). All otters have webbed feet to help propel them through the water, and most species have sharp claws. Although they are able to reproduce annually, it is more likely for this species to give birth every two years. In warmer times, you may also see otters sliding down a riverbank. In other regions the otter shares aquatic habitats with species specialised to different habitats such as sea otters, but in Ireland the otters that live at the coast and those that occupy our rivers are the same species. In California, its north-south range is from San Mateo County to the Santa Barbara. The pups are born blind and spend the first month of their lives in their dens with the female. River otters can be found throughout North America. The males will often form bachelor groups, and separate from their mothers. After two months, the female otter teaches the full-sighted pups how to swim. The Alaskan (or northern) sea otter inhabits northwest part of the United States. All are cousins of badgers, weasels, minks, ferrets, wolverines, and polecats. Hello world! Females aren't nearly as mobile. This animal must be provided with plenty of swimming space, as well as sufficient area on dry land to play and snooze. An average adult male weighs about 11.3 kilograms (25 lb) against the female's average of 8.3 kilograms (18 lb). They are said to play pranks on people when they shape shift, often involving the otter turning into a beautiful woman. In water, especially along the Gulf Coast, crocodilian reptiles are real threats. They live in holes in river banks called holts; a holt will have a few different entrances to protect against flooding, with at least one entrance being above water level. European otter – As the name suggests this species is found in Europe and extends across parts of Asia and North Africa. Most species of otters are born in a den of some kind, either a tunnel or abandoned beaver dam. As with their habitats, it is also easier to list locations you cannot find otters. Adult males live along large stretches of river, often up to 40 to 50 miles. Their burrows are typically found near water and are often built to be accessible both from on land and in the water. In the central basin, they are apparently limited to large rivers, such as the Columbia, Yakima, and Walla Walla. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Animals.NET aim to promote interest in nature and animals among children, as well as raise their awareness in conservation and environmental protection. Because these critters are secretive and shy animals they were commonly captured using traps or hunting dogs. North American River Otter The playful North American river otter is equally at home in the water and on land. River otters are most active at night. About one-third of the animal's total length consists of a long, t… However, between the 1950s and 1970s, their numbers significantly dropped, prompting conservationists to sound the alarm bells for one of UK’s beloved animals. The only types of ecosystems in which otters cannot be found are deserts, mountains, and polar regions. While North American River otters are rather high up on the food chain, they do in fact have several natural predators. Basically, they can be found anywhere they have easy access to both land and water. As with their habitats, it is also easier to list locations you cannot find otters. When they are around one month old the pups begin to explore their den, and at two months old they learn to swim. North American river otter – This species is found throughout much of Canada and parts of the United States. Do you know how else river otters … The most famous and common otter is the European, or ordinary river otter, inhabits North Africa, Europe (besides Switzerland and the Netherlands) also Asia, not meeting only on the Arabian Peninsula. Where do otters live? However, through conservation management and reintroduction efforts, populations have recuperated and are now considered stable. In South America, the otter-record holder lives in length and weight among representatives of the subfamily – the giant, or the Brazilian otter. This allows them to feed even in murky waters. They live in a den by the edge of a lake, stream, or marsh. At a year old, the young otters can survive on their own, and often venture off to make their own families. The ones in this story are North American river otters. Their underbody is usually lighter in colour. River otters use their scent to mark their territorial boundaries. Other places you will find them lingering include around rivers, streams, and lakes. In some areas, otters are prized companions and partners, rather than walking pelts. River otters are found throughout most of North America from the Rio Grande to Canada and Alaska, except for in arid deserts and the treeless Arctic. This can include rivers, canals, lakes and wetland areas. River otters are rambunctious, aquatic, streamlined mammals that spend much of their time in the water. Where do otters live? A Sea Otter's life - Big Blue Live: Episode 2 - BBC One River otters thrive outside of water too, and can sometimes be seen playing in snow or sliding down muddy hills. This makes them poor pets. They can also reach 25 years of age in captivity. Otters are expert swimmers and divers and unlike beavers or muskrats, the otter only makes a small ripple when swimming. By land and by sea. Otters seem to be used as a symbol for tricksters, similar to the use of foxes in other folklore. Any animal with teeth can bite, but otters are particularly “munchy,” and should not be handled in any way. They spend much of their time playing with one another and building social bonds. In Canada, they can be found in every province and territory except Prince Edward Island, where they appear to be extirpated. There are 13 different species of otters living around the world. Otters live in water, in dens or nests. Most otters live in dens — built by other animals, such as beavers — that are dug into the ground that have many channels and dry inner chambers. River otters need healthy aquatic habits to survive. July 6, 2018. They sometimes live along the coast, but they still require fresh water nearby.