Become an Otter Spotter!

River otters were eliminated from the Smokies by the early 1900s due to habitat destruction and uncontrolled trapping for their valuable fur. In 1986, the National Park Service began a reintroduction program, and over the course of 8 years, 137 otters from North Carolina, South Carolina, and Louisiana were trapped and released into various drainages in the Smoky Mountains. Initial monitoring efforts showed that the otters took well to their new homes, but no long-term monitoring program was established.

The otters have quietly lived and reproduced here, protected from trapping and slowly filling their niche as top predators in our mountain streams. Today they are believed to be present in every drainage of the Smokies, but we don’t know how many there are or how they are distributed. That’s where we come in!

Your Role:

As you’re out enjoying the Smokies, post your observations of otters or otter signs (scat and tracks) on our Otter Spotter project page ...more ↓

Posted on July 13, 2022 12:43 PM by tremontinstitute tremontinstitute | 0 comments | Leave a comment

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Your role:

As you're out enjoying the Smokies, post your observations of otters or otter sign (scat and tracks) on this project page. If you're not sure what you saw, be sure to 'request ID help.'

If you saw an otter but weren't able to snap a photo, no worries! You can still post an observation describing what you saw. Be sure to indicate an accurate location on the ...more ↓

tremontinstitute created this project on April 01, 2015
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