Scientific Classification

Order Carnivora
Family Mustelidae
Subfamily  Lutrinae
Genus Lontra
Class Mammalia
Scientific Name Lontra canadensis
North American River Otter
North American River Otter ©www.otter-world.com

Other Names

Northern river otter, common otter

North American River Otter Description

  • Otters migrate each year. They become nocturnal in the spring; diurnal during winter.
  • River otters can travel up to 42 km (26 mi) in one day.
  • They can remain submerged for about 4 minutes.
  • The North American river otters can travel up to 42 km (26 mi) in a single day.
  • Kits remain blind for as long as 30 to 38 days.

Size & Weight

Adults:

  • HEAD-BODY-LENGTH: 66 to 107 centimeters (26 to 42 in)
  • WEIGHT: (males) 3 kilograms (25 lb) (females) 8.3 kilograms (18 lb)
  • TAIL: 30 to 50 centimeters (12 to 20 in)

Habitat

Lakes, rivers, inland wetlands, coastal shorelines, marshes, estuaries

Distribution

Canada, Pacific Northwest, Atlantic states, Gulf of Mexico, Aleutian Islands

Diet

Fruits, reptiles, amphibians, moulting ducks, mollusks, carrion, crustaceans, crayfish

Fish:

Common carp, redhorses, bullheads, catfish, squawfish, pike, trout, scuplins, walleye, salmon, darters, perches, suckers

Reptiles & amphibians:

Wood frogs, Canadian toads, Pacific giant salamander, rough-skinned newt, garter snakes, bullfrogs, green frogs

Birds:

Waterfowls, rails, American wigeon, green-winged teal, ruddy duck, mallard, American coot

Insects:

Aquatic invertebrates, adult beetles, dragonfly, stonefly

Mammals:

Eastern cottontails, snowshoe hares, meadow voles,

Reproduction

3 – 5 litters

Mating Period

December to April

Gestation Period

61–63 days

Weaning Period

12 weeks

Sexual Maturity

2 years (males)

Population

Unknown

Lifespan

  • 8 – 9 years (wild)
  • 21 – 25 years (captivity)

Swimming Speed

11 km/h (6.8 mph)

Baby Name

Kits

Predators

Alligator, American crocodile, sharks, killer sharks, mountain lion, wolf, black bear

Sounds

Birdlike chirp, chuckling

Conservation Status

Least Concern