Conservation efforts seem to be making an impact on the comeback of the beloved Colorado river otter. The river otter, which was once a thriving part of river ecosystems across North America, was hunted to near extinction for their pelts in the 1800’s. With pollution control and wetland protection, Colorado State Parks and Wildlife (CPW) has noted that the otters have made a comeback in lakes and streams around the state where they had not been seen for over 100 years.
Otters are sensitive to changes in their habitats and will disappear when even the slightest differences occur. CPW is planning to remain invested in the habitat health for river otters, noting that the otters have been spotted in more than half of the counties in Colorado. While their status remains threatened, the population increase is a good sign that the habitats are healthy enough for otters to stay. Otter habitats are highly dependent on good supplies of fish, adequate water flow, and clean water, so these are the things CPW will be focusing on to ensure our furry friends will stick around for good.
A healthy otter will grow 3-4 feet in length, 18-24 inches long, and munch on snacks such as fish, crayfish, salamanders, birds, turtles, frogs, and snakes. They are also thought to splash, slide, and play just for fun! Many other efforts are being made nationwide to let our sleek little friends make a successful comeback, and with any luck we will soon be seeing more of them all across the country!
What types of conservation techniques do you think can help animals like the river otter make a significant comeback?
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