We tallied responses to these questions and reported frequency of responses. Raesly (2001) determined that, although it is preferable to acquire river otters from proximal populations to maximize genetic similarity and retain subspecies integrity, most jurisdictions used the most easily obtained river otters, often from Louisiana, during reintroduction projects. It's lakes are filled with trophy bass and are stocked with rainbow trout during the winter and early spring months. Otter Diseases: Otters are a surprising vector for many animal-to-animal diseases, only a few of which are transmissible to humans. We surveyed state wildlife agency experts to assess the current population and regulatory status of river otters in their jurisdictions. Collaborate smarter with otter 2.0 Record and review in real time. To compare estimates of occupied area in 1998 with our survey results, we digitized published maps depicting river otter distribution during 1998 (Melquist et al. Otter Swim Tours are 3 hours long and include a guided tour around the facility, up close interactions with our animal ambassadors, and the chance to swim with our Asian small-clawed otters! Only three states (Illinois, Kentucky, and North Dakota) did not provide a response to our question about regulation review frequency (Table 1). [2008], and Roberts [2010]). I am confident that this is the best choice amongst wildlife removal companies in Cullman, AL. Rabies is very rare in otters, but this disease should be mentioned due to its severity. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to, Submit to Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management, Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management: Online Early, Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management: Current and Available Issues, https://doi.org/10.3996/102018-JFWM-093.S1, https://doi.org/10.3996/102018-JFWM-093.S2. Comparisons between our survey and published reports from 1998 (Melquist et al. Other restoration efforts were conducted to bolster existing river otter populations and to expand otter distributions and provide connectivity within states that had existing, but not ubiquitous, river otter populations (Table 1). They once lived in streams, rivers, lakes, swamps, and coastal areas throughout Canada and the United States. We also thank the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies for logistical assistance. We thank the many state natural resource agencies for their responses and cooperation. Catch-per-unit effort, population models, and presence vs. absence indices, such as bowhunter surveys and track surveys, were used less frequently (Table 1). When river otter presence was unknown in a county, which could occur where there is no harvest or monitoring effort (i.e., arid or remote regions), we recorded presence in those counties as ‘unknown.' We reiterate Chilelli et al. Twenty-two states reported increasing populations while 25 reported stable populations. They tend to have a few cubs that are taken care of until 10 months old. 2003) using ArcMap (ESRI 2011). Similarly, we estimated that river otters occupied approximately 5,000,550 km2—nearly 63% of the land area of the contiguous United States—and that the potential river otter range was approaching 5,556,200 km2. Two states (Connecticut and Tennessee) reported that regulations are reviewed “every 4 to 5 years.” South Carolina and Texas reported that harvest regulations are “never” reviewed. While Alabama's laws on exotic animals are relatively lax, the state does have restrictions on several types of animals. Any use of trade, product, website, or firm names in this publication is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government. Like fishers, martens, and mink, they have long, slender bodies, short limbs, and a short face, plus a set of adaptations for their aquatic lifestyle: an oily, waterproof coat, webbed toes, and small external ears. This expansion was facilitated by restoration programs as well as natural dispersal and expansion of established populations. They feed on crayfish, crabs, fish, birds, small mammals, and some aquatic plants. Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management 11(1):279–286; e1944-687X. Based on maps published by Melquist et al. Otters have their babies once a year, usually in spring. doi: https://doi.org/10.3996/102018-JFWM-093. Queries should be directed to the corresponding author for the article. River otter Lontra canadensis population and regulatory status, population monitoring methods used, intent and outcome of reintroduction efforts, and frequency of harvest regulation reviews in 49 states (Hawaii excluded) within the United States in 2016. 2003) indicated that changes in river otter distribution occurred primarily in the contiguous United States and that river otters had expanded their range by approximately 13.7% during an 18-y period (Table 2). 2003). Chilelli et al. Of the remaining 37 states; 24 states reviewed regulations “promptly” or annually and 10 states reviewed harvest regulations in cycles of 2–3 y; Michigan reported that regulations are reviewed “every 2 to 3 years” and “promptly as needed” (Table 1). Although state wildlife-management agencies use a variety of techniques to monitor changes in river otter population size and distribution, regulated harvest-management programs provide the foundation for the much of the population monitoring that occurs. As per the North American Model of wildlife conservation, river otters are held in the public trust by the “government” and are managed by state and federal agencies as well as by native tribes (Mahoney and Geist 2019). After being totally destroyed by the historic storms of 2011, Otter Creek Farm was rebuilt in 2013 and began entertaining private hunting parties for the 2016 quail season. The river otter was included as an Appendix II species under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora in 1977 as a result of concern that endangered otter species, such as Pteronura brasiliensis, could be misidentified as river otter because of a similar superficial appearance, which could lead to unintentional trade of endangered species; however, it is important to note that the river otter itself has never been considered a globally threatened or endangered species (Greenwalt 1977). Within the contiguous United States, we estimated that the county-level geographic distribution occupied by river otters to be approximately 5,686,140 km2—70% of the total land area and 90% of the total water area. River otters are also valued as a game species and furbearer (Melquist et al. According to the Florida Administrative Code, Class I animals are illegal to possess, and Class II animals require a permit.Class I animals include bears, large cats, rhinos, crocodiles, chimpanzees, and more. Based on our survey, river otters were harvested in 40 states during 2016.

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