includes crustaceans (primarily crayfish), amphibians, insects, birds,
mammals, and plants [4,5,13]. Although a wide variety of fish species
are eaten by northern river otters, some species of fish are more vulnerable to
northern river otter predation. Slow-swimming fish species are generally
selected by northern river otters more often than fast-swimming fishes. Also
important are fish species that are abundant and found in large schools
. Fishes often eaten by northern river otters include suckers (Catostomus
spp.), redhorses (Moxostoma spp.), carp (Cyprinus spp.), chubs
(Semotilus spp.), daces (Phinichthys spp.), shiners (Notropis spp.),
squawfish (Ptychocheilus spp.), bullheads and catfish (Ictalurus spp.),
sunfish (Lepomis spp.), darters (Etheostoma spp.), and perch (Perca
spp.). Crayfish (Cambarus spp., Pacifasticus spp., and others) also
comprise a major portion of the northern river otter's diet [1,4].
Waterfowl and rails comprise an important part of the northern river otter diet
in the Pacific Coast states and in many other regions. Freshwater
mussels (Anodonta californiensia), freshwater periwinkles (Oxytrema
silicula), and unidentified clams and snails have been reported in the
northern river otter's diet but are not important food items . Northern river otters
may kill young beavers found alone in a lodge .
- 1. Banfield, A. W. F. 1974. The mammals of Canada. Toronto, ON: University of Toronto Press. 438 p. 
- 4. Chapman, Joseph A.; Feldhamer, George A., eds. 1982. Wild mammals of North America. Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press. 1147 p. 
- 5. Davis, Harry G.; Aulerich, Richard J.; Bursian, Steven J.; [and others]
- 13. Meehan, William R. 1974. The forest ecosystem of southeast Alaska: 4. Wildlife habitats. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-16. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 32 p. 
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