Swamp Things BioBlitz Spotlight Species #4

Spotlight Species #4:
North American river otter (Lontra canaensis)

What to Look For:
The North American river otter is a brown, long, muscled mammal. They can grow up to 42 inches long and weigh 33 pounds. About one-third of the animal’s total length is its tail! River otters also have long whiskers to detect prey in dark waters - like the blackwater swamps of the Waccamaw.

Where to Find It:
Although commonly called a “river otter,” the North American river otter is found in a wide variety of aquatic habitats, both freshwater and coastal marine, including lakes, rivers, wetlands, marshes, and SWAMPS! While they can tolerate a great range of temperature and elevation, they are sensitive to pollution.

River otters can be hard to spot in the wild, but sometimes you may get lucky and spot them in the Waccamaw River watershed.

Why It Is a Spotlight Species:
River otters are an important indicator species - meaning they indicate whether an ecosystem is healthy. The presence of river otters in Waccamaw swamps proves how healthy our swamps are. And while they can be ferocious carnivores, they are otterly adorable creatures of the swamp.

Posted on March 06, 2023 10:26 PM by schidtshow schidtshow

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