"Minnesota" from the
John Ball Zoo in Michigan
(Photo courtesy Jan Reed-Smith)
Spring 2002 News from the River Otter Alliance:
Why Do River Otters Inhabiting Marine
Environments Live in Groups?
Gail Blundell, Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks,
talks about group behavior in river otters.
Can River Otters Naturally Recolonize
the Grand Canyon?
Merav Ben-David, Ph.D., talks about reintroducing otters in the Grand
Otter Conservation Education Campaign in Africa
Learn about the new conservation educational brochure about otters in
sub-Saharan Africa for Africans.
River Otter Photos from Colorado's Ocean
All photos are courtesy of Eric Peterson and copyrighted 2002.
Otter Place Names: You "Otter" Go
Learn about locations named after otters and why.
Population Survey for River Otters in Rocky
Mountain National Park
Learn about how otter surveys are conducted and how difficult they can
By Tracy Johnston
Colorado Division of Wildlife officials are planning a study of
river otters along the Piedra, San Juan and Pine river complexes. The
study will be a follow up to the state's otter reintroduction program
that took place between 1976 and 1992. Biologists will attempt to determine
a count of the elusive animals using physical signs, such as scat and
prey remains. The study will be funded by the Nongame and Endangered
Wildlife Fund. Colorado taxpayers may contribute to the fund on their
2001 income tax forms.
Otters No Longer
Endangered in Ohio
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife, announced
the Ohio Wildlife Council removed the river otter from the state's endangered
species list this April. Ohio, as well as neighboring states Indiana,
Kentucky, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, have all reintroduced river
otters back into their states. Otters have now been spotted in 52 Ohio
Missouri: Do River Otters
Damage Sport Fishing?
Missouri Department of Conservation Fisheries Research Biologist Gary
Novinger is seeking information about present or past efforts in other
states assessing the impact of river otters on freshwater fish. The
information will help him develop a project scope and methodology to
study angler reports that river otters are damaging sport fisheries
in small streams in the Missouri Ozark. You may reach Gary at firstname.lastname@example.org
or at 573-882-9880, ext. 3225.
Rocky Mountain Census Low
Rocky Mountain National Park officials conducted their bi-annual river
otter population census on March 2, 2002. Twenty-eight volunteers, park
officials and Colorado Division of Wildlife employees participated in
the survey. Signs of an estimated twelve river otters were found, although
officials believe this is a low assessment of the number of otters using
the park and believe the population is stable and better reflected in
prior years' surveys. Due to extremely cold weather (with temperatures
remaining at or below -16 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the day), fresh,
wind blown snow, and a lack of open water on many routes, two usual
routes were not surveyed and several others were not completed. The
survey is conducted every two years as a follow up to the state's reintroduction
program. Rocky Mountain National Park river otter census reports are
Rocky Mountain National Park Otter Census Results
|RMNP Survey Date
Number of Otters
Source: Rocky Mountain National Park.