Found at DOI: (38 KB XLSX). We estimated that river otter distribution increased by 10.2% in the continental United States and by 13.7% in the contiguous United States during an 18-y period. Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management 11(1):279–286; e1944-687X. Other wildlife species are protected by the nongame species regulation. River otters are also valued as a game species and furbearer (Melquist et al. The river otter is protected and insulated by a thick, water-repellent coat of fur. FURBEARING ANIMALS. Some variation is to be expected because each jurisdiction has different resources and priorities for wildlife programs. We surveyed state wildlife agency experts to assess the current population and regulatory status of river otters in their jurisdictions. River Otters are good swimmers and divers, able to stay underwater for up to eight minutes. River otters were legally harvested in 40 states as of 2016. 2010). (2003) suggested that in 1998, as a result of wetland conservation and restoration efforts, river otters had expanded and inhabited approximately 90% of their former range. Based on maps published by Melquist et al. Example questionnaire distributed to state wildlife agencies in 2006. Nathan M. Roberts, Matthew J. Lovallo, Shawn M. Crimmins; River Otter Status, Management, and Distribution in the United States: Evidence of Large-Scale Population Increase and Range Expansion. Melquist et al. 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. You can copy this taxon into another guide. [1996], Roberts et al. This expansion was facilitated by restoration programs as well as natural dispersal and expansion of established populations. (Figure 1). Only four states—Nevada, Rhode Island, Utah, and Wyoming—did not report any monitoring efforts. We assessed geographic distribution in each state based on a county basis; Alaska does not have county jurisdictions, so we gathered information via a phone interview to assess geographic distribution (Alaska Department of Fish and Game, personal communication). Most states used multiple methods to monitor river otter populations including harvest-based surveys, presence–absence surveys, and empirically derived population model predictions; harvest-based surveys were the most commonly used monitoring approach. Scientific studies have shown them to be sensitive to pollution. Agency-enforced regulations include restrictions on harvest, harvest season length, harvest methods, and bag limits. editors of this guide it should copy everything, but if you're not, it Like other aquatic animals, otters can spread giardia, the protozoan that causes gastrointestinal upset in humans. (c) Wikipedia, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA). I am confident that this is the best choice amongst wildlife removal companies in Cullman, AL. Like fishers, martens, and mink, they have long, slender bodies, short limbs, and a short face, plus a set of adaptations for their aquatic lifestyle: an oily, waterproof coat, webbed toes, and small external ears. They tend to have a few cubs that are taken care of until 10 months old. We surveyed state wildlife agency experts regarding 1) the legal status of river otters in their state, 2) the statewide river otter population trend, 3) the results of reintroduction efforts (if applicable), 4) the population status of river otters since reintroduction efforts, 5) the method(s) of river otter population monitoring, 6) how frequently adjustments are made to harvest regulations (if applicable), 7) and the geographic distribution of river otters in their state. Based on this 2016 survey, 22 states reported increasing populations, 25 states reported stable populations, and 2 states (Arizona and Washington) reported an uncertain population trend (Table 1). Giant otters can be attacked by other animals, but do not have any direct natural predators. Please note: The Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management is not responsible for the content or functionality of any supplemental material. For many furbearers, including river otter, harvest-based data are the only information available with sufficient sample sizes large enough for robust analyses (White et al. The convenient private setting, exceptional hunting and fishing, exquisite accommodations and gourmet cuisine make Otter Creek Farm the perfect destination for a corporate outing or relaxing getaway among friends. Other restoration efforts were conducted to bolster existing river otter populations and to expand otter distributions and provide connectivity within states that had existing, but not ubiquitous, river otter populations (Table 1). If you are one of the After being totally destroyed by the historic storms of 2011, Otter Creek Farm was rebuilt in 2013 and began entertaining private hunting parties for the 2016 quail season. We tallied responses to these questions and reported frequency of responses. While Alabama's laws on exotic animals are relatively lax, the state does have restrictions on several types of animals. Although methodologies and sampling scales differed from the approach used in our assessment, comparisons of land areas occupied during each period provided a coarse-scale basis for estimates of population expansion or retraction during an 18-y period. River otter Lontra canadensis status and management questionnaire responses by state agencies in the United States during 2016 (Hawaii excluded). [2008], and Roberts [2010]). Nevertheless, these results provide an empirical, albeit coarse, contemporary estimate of river otter range in the United States. Table S1. Otters are mainly night animals and its strong flat tail is their rudder when hunting and diving for food. Deems and Pursley (1978), estimated that river otters occupied 71% of their historical range during 1977; by 1998, river otter populations had expanded and were thought to occupy 90% of their prior range (Melquist et al. The river otter Lontra canadensis is an elusive species that can serve an important role in aquatic ecosystems as a top predator of fish and crayfish. Given the large extent of the species' range, we were limited to county-level inference. Any use of trade, product, website, or firm names in this publication is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government. Methods of population monitoring included bridge surveys (presence vs. absence track surveys conducted at bridge crossings), harvest surveys, bowhunter surveys, camera surveys, winter track surveys, population models from harvest data, harvest effort, and agency field questionnaires (for detailed descriptions of these methods, we direct readers to Chilelli et al. Call us today to book a wedding, corporate event, world-class wingshooting, or to inquire about our kennels. Otter Diseases: Otters are a surprising vector for many animal-to-animal diseases, only a few of which are transmissible to humans. As populations grow and expand, it is reasonable to assume that some jurisdictions may shift monitoring resources toward less secure species. 2008). Although populations may continue to increase numerically, river otters may be approaching their potential geographic distribution in the United States. Although state wildlife-management agencies use a variety of techniques to monitor changes in river otter population size and distribution, regulated harvest-management programs provide the foundation for the much of the population monitoring that occurs. States reported a variety of methods that were used to monitor river otter populations. Otters have their babies once a year, usually in spring. An adult river otter can weigh between 5.0 and 14 kg (11.0 and 31 lb). River otters are challenging to monitor because of their secretive nature and the fact that they naturally occur at relatively low densities on the landscape. River otter status, management, and distribution in the United States: evidence of large-scale population increase and range expansion. Herein we provide an updated account, as of 2016, of river otter population status and distribution in the United States and discuss conservation priorities. Now they are gone from the central and eastern United States, and extinct or rare in Arizona, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, and West Virginia. (1996) and suggest that jurisdictions that allow harvest should collect information on the distribution of harvest, some measure of participation or effort, and, ideally, some estimate of age-structure of the harvest. Our survey indicated that <50% of the river otter reintroductions implemented in the United States were in areas where otters had been extirpated. (c) Matt Muir, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-SA). River otter reintroductions were widespread during the late 20th century (Raesly 2001). We categorized the frequencies of regulatory review within state agencies into the following: never, every 4–5 y, every 2–3 y, annually, and immediately as needed. Ten states indicated that they had reintroduced river otters to establish populations that had been extirpated (Table 1). will only copy the licensed content. (1996) encouraged jurisdictions to standardize monitoring methodology. Rabies is very rare in otters, but this disease should be mentioned due to its severity. The property produces consistent covey rises from rolling fields of native grasses to creek bottoms and open woods. That home range shrinks drastically during breeding and rearing season. Otter Creek Farm - Alabama's Premier Winghsooting Destination. Estimated range of river otters Lontra canadensis in the United States during 2016 compared with 1998 (estimated from Melquist et al. Results from this 2016 assessment provide the most recent account of river otter status and distribution in United States to our knowledge. We asked each agency expert to report 1) the legal status of river otters in their state, 2) the statewide river otter population trend, 3) the results of reintroduction efforts (if applicable), 4) the population status of river otters since reintroduction efforts, 5) the method(s) of river otter population monitoring, 6) how frequently adjustments are made to harvest regulations (if applicable), 7) and the geographic distribution of river otters in their state. County-level distribution of river otter Lontra canadensis in the United States estimated by state wildlife agencies in in 2016 (Alaska does not have county-level data and there is no occurrence in Hawaii).

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