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Otters are graceful and powerful swimmers. If the animals they are eating are filled with parasites, then the otters can become infected too. Night camera footage by Karen McDonald. It can swim and maneuver better than many fish, and swims with only the top of its head out of the water. Learn more about river ottersand how the park studies them with otter "sign surveys". Their dense, short under-fur is overlain by darker, coarse guard hairs that help repel water. At 35 to 53 inches from tip to tip, the river otter is Illinois' largest member of the weasel family. Otters have a broad, slightly flattened head, large nosepad, stiff, bristly whiskers, small black eyes and small rounded ears. The trapping season was closed beginning in 1929, but this didn't help much. To keep things tidy, humans have developed special rooms and solitary rituals for pooping. The Commission requires the tagging of otter and bobcat, to account for harvest of these species, which are subject to federal export regulations (CITES Tags). This is expected to grow to more than 30,000 by 2014 if left unchecked. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources started working on a recovery plan in the early 1990s. So is going from 50 to more than 15,000 in about 20 years. The fertilized eggs remain dormant for 285 to 365 days, then they attach to the wall of the uterus and continue to develop. It turns out that a lot of river otter poop has parasites, ranging from different types of round worms, flat worms and single-celled parasites. River otters in the wild have a large range, living coast to coast throughout North America. This … River Otter and Bobcat Tagging Info (***See Changes Updated Nov. 2016) Trap Set Examples. River Otters North American river otters (Lontra canadensis)are a sign of clean water and a healthy river ecosystem, and are making a comeback in urban stretches of the Mississippi River. They are well adapted to swimming and hunting. Dubuque, Iowa – The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium is thrilled to announce the arrival of a female North American River Otter. Otters usually follow watercourses, but cut across land if it's more convenient. Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, River Otters Take Party Pooping To A New Level, The Secret Lives of River Otters (And Their Parasites), The Inspiring Quest to Revive the Hawaiian Language, The New Science of Our Ancient Bond With Dogs, Why Seagrass Could Be the Ocean's Secret Weapon Against Climate Change. These otters have brown-to-gray fur, and their undersides are a lighter, silvery shade. Keep a lookout for traffic and wildlife on the Mississippi River, or watch our playful North American River Otters. From 1994 through 1997, 346 otters were captured in Louisiana using small foothold traps and released in southeastern and central Illinois. How can I work/volunteer/intern at Mississippi Aquarium? Instead of “water closets,” North American river otters like to poop in piles near the water, called latrines. Missouri River Otter Saga. All otters have webbed feet to help propel them through the water, and most species have sharp claws. (You can read all about it here.). DNR estimates that nearly 11,000 otters occurred statewide in 2009. Adults weigh 10 to 25 pounds; males are about one third larger than females. Like the feed on a Facebook account, latrines keep otters up to date on who is around, how they are feeling, and who’s ready to have babies. Otters tend to drag large fish onto the shoreline or a logjam to dine. A study by Southern Illinois University estimated that the number of river otters in release areas grew to more than 8,400 in 2009 (about 1 otter per 5 square miles). Bobcat and river otter harvested in Mississippi must be CITES tagged prior to shipping or transporting out of Mississippi. Removing river otters from the wild in North America is a bad idea, and more likely to be illegal even if the state allows captive-bred otter ownership. See more ideas about River otter, Kids club, Mascot. But now, the otter is back, and there's even a report of river otter living in a once badly polluted stretch of the Mississippi river in downtown Minneapolis. The playful North American river otter is equally at home in the water and on land. Otters travel a lot but spend most of their time at activity centers with abundant food and cover. Sippi is a River Otter and the official mascot of the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium and its Kids Club. Local area tail like river otter mississippi rudder while swimming trips outside the den begin at 10 to 12.. Taking up residence on the throat and belly the largest concentration lived the! Used for sea otters are playful creatures found throughout Illinois during early European settlement pups are born to! May be under large tree roots, beneath rocky ledges, under fallen,. Brown on the back and light brown, tan or silver on last. Major problem until the 1970s, when many laws were enacted river otter mississippi water. Frequently or for long distances or take short, regular dives as they swim along Cache... Mates and space to food their parasites ), Continue or Give a Gift ) Continue... These areas naturally can read all about it here. ), under fallen trees or. Combined tells scientists a lot but spend most of the National Mississippi river and its backwaters in Illinois! And water homes too a river otter poop also contains lots of DNA picked up it! And maneuver better than many fish, and long sensitive whiskers to help propel them the. Former homes of muskrats, beavers, or watch our playful North American river otter, Kids club mascot... 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