The North American river otter (Lontra canadensis), also known as the northern river otter or common otter, is a semiaquatic mammal endemic to the North American continent found in and along its waterways and coasts. So otters live in two different worlds, no actually three: the dry one we are familiar with, the under water world and the under ice world. A sea otter snoozes on its back -- showing its hind legs, tail and webbed feet, which make otters great swimmers. 3. An adult North American river otter can weigh between 5.0 and 14 kg (11.0 and 30.9 lb). Approximately 90 percent of the world’s sea otters live in coastal Alaska. In the latter two they get most of their food. Conservation. There are three subspecies of sea otters: southern, northern and Russian sea otters. It is illegal to relocate live otter in North Carolina. Any burrow or den taken over by these animals is called a holt. Although otters do not build them, they will sometimes use abandoned dams. Please do not trap live otters and then drown them, as it is considered illegal in many states and is a painful way for any animal to die, which can last anywhere up to eight minutes. River otters are found throughout most of North America from the Rio Grande to Canada and Alaska, except for in arid deserts and the treeless Arctic. Their aquatic habitats can be both marine and fresh … The length of an otter’s dives depends on the individual species. The only types of ecosystems in which otters cannot be found are deserts, mountains, and polar regions. The river otter is protected and insulated by a thick, water-repellent coat of fur. Otters live in a wide variety of watery locations, from the mighty Amazon to the heart of Singapore. Where do sea otters live map? They live in riparian zones, often in the same areas as beavers. They do need dry land, though. They are found in wetlands and along lake and river banks throughout the south of Asia, but their numbers are dwindling as habitat is lost. Southern river otters are found in Argentina and Chile. Other Shelters. Marine otters live along the Pacific coast of South America, ranging from northern Peru to Tierra del Fuego. Neotropical otters range from Uruguay north to Central America and Mexico. The north American range of sea otters extends from the Aleutian Islands to Prince William Sound. They have, as the name suggests, small nails on their paws that are shorter than the length of the digits. But the sea otter’s habitat is unique, as they only live in shallow coastal waters in the North Pacific ocean. Most sea otters call Alaska home. It is much easier to list the habitats that river otters don’t live in than to list the areas they do. North American river otters were hunted and trapped extensively for their fur in the 19th and 20th centuries, and are still hunted in some places. Otters can be trapped during the regulated trapping season, or with a depredation permit outside of the trapping season, if damage has occurred. Habitat of the Otter. Otter Dens. Where do sea otters live in the world? The northern sea otter tends to haul out more than others. Their return to the Twin Cities is a success story for the Mississippi River, showing positive change in water quality and trapping regulations. Giant otters are found throughout almost all of South America. River otters generally live alone or in small social groups. Be advised that any attempt to poison an otter is considered illegal, and would cause … As predators that are near the top of the food chain, otters are hugely important for keeping their environments balanced. These have hidden, underwater entrances for protection from predators, which makes them attractive to otters. Photo by Bob Winfree, National Park Service. 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