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north american river otter keystone species

//north american river otter keystone species

north american river otter keystone species

Boomer came to CMA to be a social partner for Walle, a rescued and non-releasable otter, who was residing by himself at that time. A North American river otter is capable of breeding once it reaches about two years of age. The North American river otter (Lontra canadensis) is a semiaquatic mammal in the weasel family.While it may simply be called the "river otter" in North America (to distinguish it from the sea otter) there are other river otter species throughout the world. They have delayed implantation of the embryo in the uterus which makes the gestation period appear very long, ranging from 9-12 months; this delayed implantation is rare in otters although it is common in the mustelid family as a whole. River otters eat a variety of fish and shellfish, as well as small land mammals and birds. Its fur ranges in color from white and gray to brown and black. Keystone species often dominate the attention of ecologists and policy-makers, who develop specific strategies for their protection, while media repeatedly report on their conservation status. Unregulated over-trapping for fur and meat. All otters are declining due to habitat loss. This dataset represents a species known range extent for North American River Otter (Lontra canadensis) within the conterminous United States (CONUS) based on 2001 ground conditions. Species: Neotropical Otter. This species reportedly has 28 common names in North America. Almonte, C. “Classification of Captive North American River Otters (Lontra canadensis) Vocal Repertoires: Individual Variations, and Age Class Comparisons.” Animal Behavior and Cognition. Hand in paw with otters. North American River Otters. Even with the risk of predation from larger species such as the American alligator, bobcats and coyotes, the greatest threat to river otters are from humans and include habitat destruction, fragmentation and pollution. This species used to be known as Amblonyx cinereus, and before that as Aonyx cinerea. The body of the river otter measures between 65 cm to 105 cm (25 to 41 inches) in length and the tail measures 32 to 45 cm (12 to 17 inches) in length. The North American river otter (Lontra canadensis) became one of the major animals hunted and trapped for fur in North America after European contact. Baby otters are called cubs, pups or kits. A new study from North Carolina State University detected evidence of otter diseases that may be spread by pets. They are a top predator and their presence also reflects the health of the ecosystem around them. 12 important examples of keystone species. By the 1950s its numbers were greatly reduced due to trapping and pollution, but after a long campaign to clean the waterways, trapping management and reintroductions in states in which it no longer occurred, this species now thrives throughout the USA and Canada. Photograph by Michael Quinton / Minden Pictures This lists the logos of programs or partners of NG Education which have provided or contributed the content on this page. Otters are carnivorous mustelids in the Lutrinae subfamily. The otter has a long cylindrical body with a powerful tail, making it ideal for life in the water. In the 1800s, otters swam in waterways across North America until fur-trappers hunting for pelts nearly obliterated the species. Mexico. North American river otters are the only river otter that is found north of Mexico. They are the least aquatic of all the otters. According to the mammal species of the world scientific publication, this family is made up by three subfamilies with 22 genera and has 57 living species. River otter populations declined significantly throughout the late 1800s due to over-harvesting and water pollution. In turn, so does the number of otters. Neotropical Otter occurs in all major rivers along the east of the country and patchy areas along the northern coast. North American river otters are known for their playful swimming, but they are also an important species for helping scientists understand the health of river systems. The playful North American river otter is equally at home in the water and on land. Worldwide, there are 13 species of otters that can be found on every continent except Australia and Antarctica. PIERRE, S.D. What caused the decline of river otter populations in the early 1900s? River otters are able to hold their breath underwater for up to eight minutes. 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