Habitat use and home range of otters
January 2006 - December 2010
- Nebraska Game and Parks
River otters became reestablished in Nebraska following their reintroduction in the mid 1980s and early 1990s. The species is currently listed as threatened in Nebraska (S2). Despite the high profile of the reintroduction and the otters’ role as a flagship species, relatively little is known about river otter ecology in Nebraska. The Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit with the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC) initiated this project in October 2006 with the objective of collecting home range and habitat use information on river otters along the big bend area of the Platte River using remote sensing (radio telemetry). We captured and radio-tagged eighteen northern river otters on and near the Platte River, a core component of the specie’s distribution in Nebraska. This project has recently completed the collection of home range and habitat use information on river otters along the big bend area of the Platte River. Data collected, in conjunction with the results of an ongoing river otter health and reproductive survey and results from the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s annual otter bridge survey, will help close existing information gaps and contribute to the creation of the Nebraska River Otter Management Plan and the Statewide Comprehensive Conservation Plan. This is one of the largest otter tracking projects in the United States and the only current project in the Midwest.