Belangeri, Michael
December 2010
IUCN Otter Specialist Group Bulletin;Dec2010, Vol. 27 Issue 3, p127
Academic Journal
In Canada, there are two species of otters, the river otter (Lontra canadensis) and the sea otter (Enhydra lutris). The river otter is considered to be plentiful and ranges throughout a large part of Canada. On the other hand, the sea otter is classified as of Special Concern and only small translocated colonies are found along the coastline of Vancouver Island and British Columbia. The scientific literature was reviewed with respect to both river and sea otter research performed within Canada since 1970 to evaluate the number and topics of research papers that had been published dealing with these otter species. Since 1970, 25 papers have been published, most of the research concentrating on contaminants (mercury, organochlorines) in river otters (80%). There is only 1 scientific paper (1978) dealing with the sea otter (4%). Almost half of publications studying river otters were from or in combination from the province of Ontario (48%). Miscellaneous topics made up 16% of the publications. This paper reveals that in Canada very little scientific work has been published dealing with sea otters and that a huge number of the publications deal with river otters found within the province of Ontario. Thus since 1970, there has been a serious lack of research dealing with either otter species and that most of that work has had no structure or focus. It is hoped that government agencies, the scientific community, non government organizations, and interested groups can organize strategies and granting opportunities to increase the amount of scientific studies to further understand and protect future populations of these 2 species in Canada.


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