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Lontra canadensis

Common Name: River Otter
Lontra canadensis
Lontra canadensis

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Mustelidae
Genus: Lontra
Species: Lontra canadensis

Conservation Status

Identifying Features

River otters range from 25" - 40" long and are a dark glossy brown. Their tracks are 3" wide with 5 partially webbed toes.

Habitat & Range

River otters live near bodies of water and can be found through much of the US, excluding the Southwest. They are also found throughout much of Canada.


River otters eat a variety of prey including fish, crayfish, amphibians, and turtles. Their dens often have underwater entrances, and they have been known to use what is available including the abandoned dens of other mammals.

Life Cycle

Mating season is in late winter to early spring. Females give birth to small litters after 9.5 - 12.5 months. Young will stay with their mothers until the following spring when she gives birth to her next litter.

Featured image by Ken Thomas.


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