Common Name

Scientific Name

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Photo by Larry Dalton and Laura Romin
Photo Copyright Larry Dalton and Laura Romin

The river otter, Lontra canadensis, occurs across much of Canada and most of the United States. In Utah, the species occurs along creeks and rivers throughout much of state, but populations are small.

River otters are active year-round. They often den in burrows created by other animals, or under overhanging roots and banks along water courses. Females give birth to an average of two to three young during late winter or early spring. River otters eat crayfishes, fishes, frogs, and insects, as well as an occasional bird or small mammal.


  • Biotics Database. 2005. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, NatureServe, and the network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers.

  • Burt, W. H. and R. P. Grossenheider. 1980. A field guide to the mammals. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 289 pp.