River Otter

The status and distribution of river otter in large areas of New York State is unknown. They are one of 14 species of furbearers managed by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. Otter populations are managed via harvest data in approximately one-third of the state. In the remaining two-thirds, harvest is not allowed and the status of otter populations is unknown. This area includes “zones” where harvest was restricted approximately 10 years ago and a larger area where an otter reintroduction effort was conducted in the late 1990s.


Project Title: A non-harvest based assessment of river otter (Lontra canadensis) in the Mohawk River Valley of New York.

Summary:
This research is focused on answering the questions, “what is the status of otter in the non-harvest areas of New York?” and “can intensive sign surveys housed within an occupancy modeling framework be used to assess otter populations?”

Location: St. Lawrence and Mohawk River valleys within New York State, USA

Timeline: 2010-2012

Field participants:
SUNY-ESF: Andrew MacDuff, M.S. Candidate and paid technicians Amy Viscito, Angie Salonikios, Brett Jesmer, Cody Wilson, Lindsay Gedacht, Rebecca Allmond, Steve Case, and Tyler Will and others from NYS Department of Environmental Conservation.

Principal Investigators:
Jacqueline Friar and Andrew MacDuff, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
Gordon Batcheller, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation

Funding:
NYS Department of Environmental Conservation

For more information:
visit http://www.esf.edu/efb/frair/default_files/Page469.htm

Contact:
Dr. Jacqueline Frair, Assistant Professor
Wildlife Ecology, 257 Illick Hall, 1 Forestry Drive
SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
Syracuse, NY 13210 USA
Phone: 315-470-4905, FAX: 315-470-6934, email: jfrair@esf.edu