Chapman and Feldhamer (1982) suggested that otter populations in many areas are apparently stable and may be slowly increasing. Large populations of river otter exist in many states throughout the northern U.S. (including Alaska) and Canada where the river otter is still trapped for its fur. In Florida, however, river otters are not considered abundant in the Indian River Lagoon area. Intense pressure from coastal development and resulting loss of habitat have caused otter populations in this area to decline. There are apparently several population strongholds including the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge -Canaveral National Seashore complex, as well as other relatively undeveloped areas (Ehrhart 1995).Locomotion: Lontra canadensis actively swims, and crawls. They are capable of achieving running speeds of 29 km/hr (18 miles/hr), and have been observed to remain submerged for as long as 8 minutes.
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