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North American river otter

A pair of river otters

Lontra canadensis

Range: North American river otters are found in and around waterways and coasts throughout most of Canada and the United States.

Habitat: River otters can adapt to a variety of environments, including lakes, rivers, marshes, and even swamps. They have a small home range, and generally do not wander further than 100 meters from water.

Size: River otters can weigh between 11 to 30 pounds, with the males being generally larger than the females. They can grow to be about four feet long with their tail making up almost a third of its total body length.

Diet: Because of their high metabolism, River otters eat a great deal of food. Their diet consists of insects, frogs, snakes, lizards, smaller mammals, and even small water birds.

Conservation Connection: The North American river otter used to thrive almost everywhere in North America. Today, due to unregulated trapping, pollution, and habitat destruction, they occupy only a fraction of their original range.

Did You Know? River otters can see underwater due to a third clear eyelid that helps protect their eye as they swim.

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