The river otter, a species extinct from Indiana by 1942, now lives in 80 percent of the state’s counties and has a thriving population.
Animal experts credit a 1990s reintroduction program with the otters’ comeback. Over a five-year period beginning in 1995, 303 otters were transported from Louisiana and released at 12 sites in northern and southern Indiana. The reintroduction was so successful, he said, that by 2005, otters were removed from the state’s endangered species list.
Work to improve water quality in the state has benefited the river otter, whose diet consists primarily of fish. Though the otters’ diet also includes mussels, crayfish, reptiles and amphibians.
“As the otter population grows,” said Shawn Rossler, a Division of Fish & Wildlife biologist for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, said, “wildlife managers must find balance to keep populations healthy while preventing conflicts with landowners. Finding balance isn’t always easy, but it’s needed to ensure the continued success and acceptance of river otters in Indiana.”
Happy Ottersday ^_^