The North American River Otter spends its life in the water and on land (National Geographic). However, they do not occupy their aquatic habitat until they are around two months old (National Geographic). They prefer habitats that include either a lake, river, or swamp (National Geographic). More specifically, they tend to choose bog lakes. Bog lakes are lakes with bankedTrish Carney http://www.trishcarneyphoto.com/ shores made of gravel or sand rather than sloping ones (The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species). In these lakes they reside in a burrow that has often times been made and is no longer used by another animal, like a beaver, near the edge of a water source. Rarely they will construct their own burrow. These burrows commonly contain more than one tunnel that allow them to exit into the water along with passages to land (National Geographic).

Individuals or groups occupy home ranges, an area of land that they generally reside within, that can inculde anywhere from eight to seventy eight kilometers, always including some source of water (Williamson and Clark, 2011). They are fairly adaptable to any sort of weather, and they only require a decent food supply and access to as a part of their habitat. Despite their adaptability, they do require a way to take shelter or hide in their habitat. This can mean having vegetation or other structures present in their habitat (Defenders of Wildlife).

Historically, Lontra canadensis could be found in the most of major waterways in North America, including the majority of states in the United States and Canada (The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species). The most densely populated areas in this region were those near the costal http://dnr.state.il.us/orc/wildlife/furbearers/river_otter.htmmarshes and the Great Lakes (The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species). However, within the last hundred years their populations have drastically declined within many of their habitats (Williamson and Clark, 2011). The decline is due, in part, to habitat loss (National Geographic) along with unregulated trapping habits and pollution of the water supplies due to human activity (The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species). Currently, their populations are increasing again because of repopulation efforts and better environmental knowledge (Stearns and Serfass, 2011). However, they remain scarce in the southwest areas of the United States (Defenders of Wildlife).


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