northern river otter

(Lontra canadensis)

Conservation Status
northern river otter
Photo by Christa Rittberg
  IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern

 
  NatureServe

N5 - Secure

SNR - Unranked

 
  Minnesota

not listed

 
           
 
Description
 
 

The pelage (fur) is dark brown above. a little lighter below, with a white a grayish or silvery throat.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Total length: 35 to 48

Head and body: 26 to 30

Tail: 12 to 17

 
     
 

Sign

 
 

 

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
  American mink (Neovison vison) is much smaller, no more than 27½ in length including the tail.  
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Mostly lakes, streams, and ponds, but also swamps and marshes.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Behavior

 
 

 

 
     
 

Lifespan

 
 

8 to 9 years

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

 

 
     
 

Food

 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

7, 15, 24, 29, 30, 76.

 
  3/9/2021      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Class Mammalia (mammals)  
  Subclass Theria  
  Infraclass Eutheria (placentals)  
  Magnorder Boreoeutheria  
  Superorder Laurasiatheria  
  Order Carnivora (carnivores)  
  Suborder Caniformia (dog-like carnivores)  
 

Family

Mustelidae (weasel, mink, badger, martens and others)  
 

Subfamily

Lutrinae (otters)  
 

Genus

Lontra (river otters)  
       
 

This species was originally named Lutra canadensis. In 1972, New World otters were separated into the genus Lontra.

 
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
 

Canadian river otter (Lontra canadensis canadensis)

Kodiak river otter (Lontra canadensis kodiacensis)

Pacific otter (Lontra canadensis pacifica)

Prince Of Wales river otter (Lontra canadensis mira)

Queen Charlotte river otter (Lontra canadensis periclyzomae)

South east Canadian river otter (Lontra canadensis lataxina)

South west Canadian river otter (Lontra canadensis sonora)

Vancouver river otter (Lontra canadensis vancouverensis)

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Lutra canadensis

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

Canadian otter

North American river otter

northern river otter

river otter

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Pelage

The coat of a mammal, consisting of fur, wool, or hair, and including a soft undercoat and stiff guard hairs.

 

 

 
 
Visitor Photos
 
           
 

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Craig Palmer

 
    northern river otter      
 

Christa Rittberg

 
 

Observed at Fort Snelling State Park.

 
    northern river otter   northern river otter  
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
 
 

 

 
           

 

Camera

     
 
Slideshows
 
Otter
Andree Reno Sanborn
  Otter  
 
About

Lutra canadensis

 

 

slideshow

       
 
Visitor Videos
 
       
 

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Other Videos
 
  River Otters on the Run | Wild Yellowstone
Nat Geo WILD
 
   
 
About

Published on Nov 30, 2015

River otters are in their element in Yellowstone’s early winter. They avoid a hungry coyote with their excellent swimming skills, but soon the river will freeze.
➡ Subscribe: http://bit.ly/NatGeoWILDSubscribe

About Nat Geo Wild:
Welcome to a place so wild, anything can happen. Nat Geo Wild is the network all about animals from National Geographic, where every story is an adventure and your imagination is allowed to run wild.

Get More Nat Geo Wild:
Official Site: http://bit.ly/NatGeoWILD
Facebook: http://bit.ly/NGWFacebook
Twitter: http://bit.ly/NGWTwitter
Instagram: http://bit.ly/NGWInstagram

River Otters on the Run | Wild Yellowstone
https://youtu.be/rN1zcU-xHrI

Nat Geo Wild
https://www.youtube.com/user/NatGeoWild

   
  Northern River Otter
benjaminmadison
 
   
 
About

Published on May 14, 2013

Northern River Otter (Lontra canadensis) - a trio of otters seen in Victoria, BC, Canada

   
  Wyoming Wildlife: Mammals - Northern River Otter
WyomingNaturalist
 
   
 
About

Published on Apr 26, 2012

Check out eFIELD WYOMING: Flora, Fauna, Landscape at WyomingNaturalist.com There are more than 3,600 unique photographs and five hours of video detailing 260 plants, 250 animals, and 50 landscape components - all found in Wyoming!

   
  River Otters - Minnesota
S Kersten
 
   
 
About

Published on Nov 30, 2015

Otters outside Kettle River, MN.

   
  Otter Ice Fishing in Minnesota
Mark Nelson
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Mar 14, 2010

This is a North American River Otter on the ice on Superior Bay which is at the end of the St. Louis River and along Park Point which is the world's largest fresh water sand bar - located at the western most end of Lake Superior - the world's largest freshwater lake. You can tell that this otter fishes for a living. The surprise in the video is seeing him come up with two fish on his second dive through the ice.

   

 

Camcorder

 
 
Visitor Sightings
 
           
 

Report a sighting of this mammal.

 
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Be sure to include a location.
 
  Craig Palmer
10/13/2021

Location: Moorhead, MN rendition pond

northern river otter

 
  Dano
9/24/2019

Location: Crane Park refuge (Crane Meadows National Wildlife Refuge) by Little Falls MN.

there was a pair of them

 
  Susan
5/31/2019

Location: Edina

The otter ran across 70th St heading south. This was East of 100 and West of France.

 
  Kirk Nelson
5/12/2019

Location: Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge - Long Meadow Lake Unit

About 5 or 6 were sitting on a log about 15 yards into the flooded area at the beginning of the Long Meadow Lake Trail, just below the Visitors’ Center.  I barely had time to notice them before they slid into the water and swam away, so I couldn’t get a photo

 
  Eric Hills
6/12/2018

Location: Big Lake Township

I was out walking the dog and saw it run thru the yard. The dog took after it and chased it into the tall grass around the swamp in our backyard. We live a couple of hundred yards off the Mississippi River. I couldn’t believe my eyes, Pretty awesome!

 
  Marvin Schifsky
4/14/2018

Location: Washington County, MN (55082). Just south of co. Road 12, on Jamaca Avenue.

It was Huge! Nice to see. Did not think there were any in our area.

 
  Dlg3
8/15/2017

Location: Plymouth/Minnetonka

crossing Hopkins crossroads during afternoon  rush hour

 
  Christa Rittberg
6/17/2017

Location: Observed at Fort Snelling State Park.

northern river otter

 
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
 
   

 

 

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