A non-harvest based assessment of river otter (Lontra Canadensis) in the Mohawk River Valley of New York
Funding source: NY State Department of Environmental Conservation
Funding period: Feb 2010—May 2012
Assessments of the status of wide-ranging and elusive species like river otter (Lontra canadensis) are difficult to conduct, and usually rely on data collected from managed harvests. Efficient and reliable protocols for tracking changes in otter populations in areas closed to harvest are needed, and the focus of this research. This two-year study builds on existing survey protocols for otter, and aims specifically to identify the optimal survey effort for robust inferences of site occupancy as an index to population size, establish a relationship between site occupancy and local otter abundance through inclusion of noninvasive genetic surveys, and provide a formal assessment of the status of river otter populations in the Mohawk River Valley – an area where harvest restrictions are subject to revision within the next few years.
Link to full proposal here.
For more information, contact Andy MacDuff (email@example.com; 315-470-6985).