Ohio has seen a resurgence of various wildlife species within the state in some part due to reintroduction efforts by Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR)-Division of Wildlife. One such success story involves the river otter. River otters were reintroduced by the ODNR from 1986-1993 and the river otter’s populations have since spread beyond the initial introduction sites.
Each year the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), with assistance from county soil and water conservation districts in Ohio, conduct winter “bridge” surveys. These surveys are designed to identify the distribution of river otter populations in Ohio and the otter’s population trends. The surveys involve trained personnel walking various pre-determined stream bank locations within different watersheds to document the presence of river otters through visual observations, tracks, scat, and other identifiers. The protocols of the bridge surveys are standardized to provide accurate results that allow ODNR wildlife biologists to make scientifically-sound management decisions.
This year, Seneca Conservation District will take part in the river otter survey at a portion of the seven locations scattered throughout Seneca County. In the past three years, signs of river otters have been identified in Seneca County at two survey locations. Any affected landowner will have been contacted by the ODNR prior to the survey.
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