North American River Otter

Lontra canadensis


Conservation Status

  • North American river otters are a famously playful species that burrows into shady banks of forest-lined streams and rivers. Their burrows allow them to enter and exit from underwater. 
  • River otters are nearsighted and will sometimes swim right up to your boat to get a better look at you. 
  • Where they’re found, in the Cumberland River Basin, North American River Otters are apex predators, and extremely important to helping ecosystems remain in balance. 
  • The species is sensitive to pollution and habitat degradation. Populations have disappeared or been dramatically reduced in many states. If you’ve got property along a stream or river, you can help the species by maintaining natural, forested banks and by allowing for logs and other natural debris in and along the channel.

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