The Homecoming: Pennsylvania's River Otters

Produced by the Wild Resource Conservation Fund

Length: 60 minutes

What happened to Pennsylvania's once plentiful river otters? Watch this video and learn the answer to that question and many others concerning the population and characteristics of the North American river otter. See what Pennsylvanians are doing to re-build the otters' habitat and nurture the return of these water-loving mammals. This comprehensive documentary shows the challenges scientists face as they try to re-introduce the river otter into various waterways throughout the state.

Key dates: Conservation of the River Otter in Pennsylvania

  • 1982 - River otter reintroductions began in 1982.

  • 1989 - From 1982 through 1989, 39 otters were released in the Kettle, Pine, and Loyalsock Creek basins in northcentral Pennsylvania. These otters have expanded their range and reproduced.

  • 1990 - Otter reintroductions in northwestern Pennsylvania began with the release of four otters in the Tionesta Creek basin in 1990. In addition, Maryland stocked 18 otters on the Youghiogheny River near Oakland in 1989 and 1990. The success of these programs is due, in part, to improved water quality and resulting improved fisheries.

  • 1993 - More than 70 otters were released by 1993.

Get Involved:

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has recently issued the River Otter license plate benefiting the Wild Resource Conservation Fund. To obtain the plate, you can download the special fund plate application form (pdf file) right here!

Learn More:

River Otters in Pennsylvania - PA Game Commission

Habitat - Carnegie Museum of Natural History


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