In 1984 and 1985, the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation reintroduced North American river otters (Lontra canadensis) from coastal Louisiana into eastern Oklahoma. Those reintroductions and immigration from Arkansas and possibly northeastern Texas allowed river otters to become reestablished in eastern Oklahoma. Our goals were to determine the contemporary distribution of river otters in central and eastern Oklahoma with voucher specimens, sign surveys, and mail surveys and to compare proportion of positive detections among watersheds. We report new distributional records with voucher specimens from seven counties (Adair, Bryan, Coal, Johnston, McIntosh, Okfuskee, Tulsa) in Oklahoma. We also provide locality information for specimens collected from four counties (Haskell, McCurtain, Muskogee, Wagoner) where river otters were described in published literature but no voucher specimens existed. During winter and spring 2006 and 2007, we visited 340 bridge sites in 28 watersheds in eastern and central Oklahoma and identified river otter signs in 16 counties where river otters were not previously documented in published literature or by voucher specimens. Proportion of positive sites within each watershed ranged 0–100%. Mail surveys suggested that river otters occurred in eight additional counties where they were not previously documented by published literature, voucher specimens, or sign-survey efforts.
|Title||Current distribution of North American river otters in central and eastern Oklahoma, with seven new county records|
|Authors||Dominic A. Barrett, David M. Leslie|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Occasional Papers of the Museum at Texas Tech University|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Coop Res Unit Atlanta|