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Canada's Species   Mammals

River Otter

Lontra canadensis

Photo: Tupper Ansel Blake, USFWS
River Otter. Photo: Tupper Ansel Blake, USFWS

River otters are intelligent, docile, and playful creatures which are often seen "tobogganing" down snowy and muddy slopes. River otters are found throughout Canada, along rivers, lakes and ocean coasts. They are fully adapted for an aquatic existence, are very streamlined and posses webbed feet and a powerful tail. They are graceful swimmers conducting underwater acrobatics that are quite amusing to watch. Otters are social animals except during the breeding season when the mother forces the father out until the young have grown. Otters feed heavily on fish and less so on other mammals and invertebrates when living on the mainland. When on the coast, they will feed mainly on crabs and other crustaceans by beating their shells with a stone.

Map of River Otter in Canada
Distribution of River Otter in Canada

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