Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design


Wildlife and Fisheries Resources

Committee Chair

James T. Anderson

Committee Co-Chair

John W. Edwards


River otters (Lontra canadensis), one of the most aquatic Mustelids, are important components of riparian systems and are an important fur-bearing species. Several studies evaluating post-release survival and movements have been conducted; however, there have been deficient long-term studies to determine the status of these river otter populations once established. During 2002 and 2003m 16 river otters (7 female, 9 male) were trapped and radio-tagged. Overall, mean female home range size was 802.4 ha and mean male home range size was 1,101.7 ha. Mean home range size was similar between genders in 2002, but was greater for males than females during 2003. I found differences in habitat use by river otters based on compositional analysis and a chi-square test. Marsh habitat was used most frequently. Mean movement distance of female river otters (x¯ = 1.8 km) was less than the mean movement distance of male river otters (x¯ = 5.2 km). River otters were most active between 2201 and 1000 and least active between 1001 and 1600 hours. This knowledge can be used in Ohio and other parts of the upper Midwest to aid in river otter management.