SI_otter.jpg

River Otter: Lutra canadensis

Appearance:

The river otter (Lutra canadensis)  is  a long, elongated water-loving animal found throughout Florida except the Keys.  Its legs are short and has webbed toes for swimming.  The ears are appear large on it's small flattened head.

Otters have five toes but occasionally only four show in the track.  The heel pad tends to be somewhat "horseshoe" shaped.

Habitat:

River otters seem to prefer fresh water, and can be in rivers, creeks, lakes, ponds, and swamps.  Otters live in burrows on the bank of the water body, often under the roots of a tree.  They may dig their own burrow, or remodel the burrow of a beaver.

Behavior:

They normally feed on animals such as crayfish and fish.  If you have a fish pond an otter may find it.

The best way to control the otter is to exclude the otter from pond with fencing or a cover.   This will also prevent other animals such as raccoons, or some birds from finding the goldfish, which are an easy prey item for many species. 

Additional Information:


Image Credit:



FWC Facts:
Freshwater catfish have many external taste buds on their barbels, so they use their sense of taste more than their sight to find prey.

Learn More at AskFWC