Wednesday, October 31, 2012

River Otters, family unit

Score another one for the fantastic videography of Laura and David Hughes, who brought us the fabulous Bobcat video of the previous post. Their Monroe County, Ohio game trail is truly a magical place, and there they also captured footage of one of our most interesting animals, the River Otter, Lontra canadensis. The following video shows what appear to be two adults, and two juveniles. What I assume is the adult male makes his departure from the video first, and then we can see the two youngsters, which are slightly smaller than the adult female, apparently attempt to nurse, but they are rebuffed.

River Otters are rather hard to observe in the wild, and few of us will ever get to see a scene such as shown in this video.

Video: Laura and David Hughes

Like the Bobcat of the previous post, River Otters did not fair well with the onset of European colonization of the Ohio country. By 1900 or so, unregulated trapping and habitat loss had extirpated them from Ohio. Beginning in 1986, the Ohio Division of Wildlife embarked on a reintroduction program, and ultimately released 123 animals over a seven year period in several widely scattered locales. The otters took, and flourished. Today, there may be as many as 7,000 of them roaming our waterways, in most of our counties.

Thanks once again to Laura and David for sharing their amazing video work.


Rick said...

Same trail as the bobcats? Is water very close by?

Jim McCormac said...

Yep, same trail, and I don't know for sure, but I'd bet a stream is nearby.

Lilac Haven said...

This is fabulous! Thanks for sharing.

Buckeyeherper said...

Pretty cool for sure. Most of the Michigan waterways I paddle have them, although I have still yet to luck into any in my 200 miles of paddling these last few years. I always keep my eyes peeled, but usually have to settle for mink. One of these days...