Examination of age structures and sex ratios is useful in the management of northern river otters (Lontra canadensis) and other furbearers. Reintroductions and subsequent recolonizations of river otters have been well documented, but changes in demographics between expanding and established populations have not been observed. As a result of reintroduction efforts, immigration from Arkansas and northeastern Texas, and other efforts, river otters have become partially reestablished throughout eastern and central Oklahoma. Our objective was to examine age structures of river otters in Oklahoma and identify trends that relate to space (watersheds, county) and time (USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service county trapping records). We predicted that river otters in western areas of the state were younger than river otters occurring farther east. From 2005–2007, we obtained salvaged river otter carcasses from federal and state agencies, and we live-captured other river otters using leg hold traps. Seventy-two river otters were sampled. Overall, sex ratios were skewed toward females (1F∶0.8M), but they did not differ among spatiotemporal scales examined. Teeth were removed from salvaged and live-captured river otters (n = 63) for aging. One-year old river otters represented the largest age class (30.2%). Proportion of juveniles (<1 y old) in Oklahoma (19.0%) was less than other states. Mean age of river otters decreased from east-to-west in the Arkansas River and its tributaries. Mean age of river otters differed between the Canadian River Watershed (0.8 y) and the Arkansas River Watershed (2.9 y) and the Canadian River Watershed and the Red River Watershed (2.4 y). Proportion of juveniles did not differ among spatiotemporal scales examined. Similar to age structure variations in other mammalian carnivores, colonizing or growing western populations of river otters in Oklahoma contained younger ages than more established eastern populations.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.