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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Restoring river otters in Indiana

Published source details

Johnson S.A. & Berkley K.A. (1999) Restoring river otters in Indiana. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 27, 419-427


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Translocate to re-establish or boost populations in native range Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A study in 1995–1996 of a wildlife refuge with several wetland habitats in Indiana, USA (Johnson & Berkley 1999) found that following translocation of North America river otters Lutra canadensis, most survived at least one year after release and breeding occurred in the second year post-release. Survival one year post-release was estimated at 71%. Three otter litters were documented in the second year after release. Confirmed mortalities were three otters killed by vehicles, one dying from research-related causes and one dying of an unknown cause. River otters were extirpated from Indiana by 1942. Twenty-five otters (15 male, 10 female) were translocated from Louisiana and released in a 3,125-ha refuge in Indiana, on 17 January 1995. Fifteen otters were radio-tracked five times/week for 16 weeks, and three times/week for up to one year. Field surveys and visual observations were also used, including to document breeding activity.

(Summarised by Kara Grosse)