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North American River Otter Migration

January 23, 2018  •  2 Comments

This North American River Otter has been visiting my neighbor's pond for several years now. This is the Otter that is blind in one eye and I am able to notice that it is the only Otter in the pond.

What makes me curious is that it only visits for a few days during the winter before leaving the area. At first, I thought that I wasn't seeing it because it was mainly nocturnal. I placed trail cameras in the area around the pond. I discovered that it leaves the pond at night and travels through the Ouachita National Forst which is nearby. I have been able to capture it with these cameras several hundred yards in the forest.

Over the past few years, I have hiked in the direction that I see the Otter traveling and the only body of water I came across was the Ouachita River which is about 5 miles from the pond.

I read (Wikipedia) that they may migrate as a result of food shortages or environmental conditions, but they do not migrate annually. River Otters only settle in areas that consist of vegetation, rock piles, and sufficient coverage.

If this North American River Otter is traveling to the river, it is making a very dangerous trip because of the coyotes and bobcats in this area.


North American River Otter - 1521160114North American River Otter In a pond here in Arkansas


Greg Topp(non-registered)
Steve, remember last July 1st all of my squirrels took off in a migration? In late September I had five return. I know they were here prior to the migration as they knew where everything was around my place. That loss of all the squirrels turned out to be county-wide that people noticed. I hope nothing like that hapens around here again.
Ruth Byrn(non-registered)
Nice observations! Patient, persistent, smart!
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