North American River Otters

Binomen: 
Lontra canadensis
River Otters on the dock in Telegraph Cove, British Columbia, Canada

Often confused with Sea Otters, River Otters are slimmer and tend to spend time on land; sea otters are usually always in the water. River otters are playful and display similar behavior to cats, purring and rubbing against each other.

North American River Otters are silent, efficient swimmers with webbed feet. They are approximately 1 meter (3 – 4 feet) long and weigh about 9 ½ kg (20 lbs). They have few predators and most threats are anthropogenic, mostly pollution and destruction to habitat. Diet consists of fish and crustaceans and because they are the top of the food chain, the pollutants they ingest are highly concentrated.

River Otters reach sexual maturity at about 2 years old and have an interesting reproduction system. The egg, once fertilized, enters a dormant state for an extended period of time before pregnancy takes place. When environmental conditions are favorable then gestation period begins and lasts for about 2 months. This process is known as delayed implantation or embryonic diapause.

We frequently see these playful critters around Telegraph Cove and on our kayaking tours.

For more information on the North American River Otter, please follow this wiki link – North American River Otter

River Otters on the dock in Telegraph Cove, British Columbia, Canada
River Otter fur pile in Telegraph Cove, British Columbia, Canada
June Early July Mid July End of July   Early August Mid to Late August September

Color Code

common
frequent
occasional
rare
very rare
Slideshow: 
River Oteer Fur Pile