Survival and Seasonal Movements During River Otter Restoration Efforts in West Virginia

During 5 February-1 April 1987 we released 13 (8 males:5 females) radio-equipped river otters (Lutra canadensis) into the West Fork River, Lewis County, West Virginia. Survival through 4 November 1987 was 56.7% (N = 75). After 10 months, dispersal extended 27.2 km upstream and 23.4 km downstream from the release site. Seasonal movements for the surviving otters varied from 7.1 km to 57.4 km for females (N = 2) and 11.1 km to 52.0 km for males (N = 5). Inter- and intrasexual ranges overlapped 0%-100% each season. Movements illustrated the importance of available refugia on the stream system in this restoration effort.

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