River Otter Ecology & Health Program

A healthy otter population is a signal that the lagoon is doing well and supporting animals that rely on healthy fish and invertebrate animals. North American river otters are playful, inquisitive animals that live along the shore of the Indian River Lagoon (IRL). Otters’ well being can signal if there are environmental changes that could hurt wildlife and humans’ quality of life.

Otters may be affected by unique challenges as an animal that lives on land and in water. For example, otters may be exposed to diseases that are indicative of negative run-off from human development along the coast. In addition, otters may be struck by cars due to new roads and traffic increases in Florida. By applying our expertise in marine mammal health and stranding response to river otters, we can broaden our IRL research and promote ocean health more effectively.

One important component of this program is the citizen science project called Otter Spotter. Otter Spotters are trained observers that report their otter sightings to our program. This data help us understand structure, movement patterns and habitat use. Read more about the project or report a sighting below.

Otter Spotter Project

A Citizen Science Project

This project aims to educate and teach the public the significance of a healthy otter population, and use real time reporting from citizens to add data to the project. Have you seen a River Otter? Click here to tell us all about it and contribute to the data of our Otter Spotter project!

Report Otter Sightings

Residents in all areas of the Indian River Lagoon (IRL) and surrounding watersheds can become Otter Spotters by reporting otter sightings here.

Adopt an Otter Wildlife Camera

Adopting an otter wildlife camera directly funds river otter research by providing one full camera unit for each research location. Sponsorship comes with special perks at all levels. Cameras are placed around the Indian River Lagoon to study otter behavior, movement patterns and to gather scat samples. Your help is needed to better understand

and conserve Florida river otters. You can make an impact on this vital research by adopting a wildlife camera, or donating here.

Otter Spotter Map

SIGHTINGS REPORTED BY OTTER SPOTTER, CITIZEN SCIENTISTS

VIDEO FROM WILDLIFE CAMERAS PLACED AROUND BREVARD COUNTY

WILDLIFE CAMERA CAPTURE

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