Happy World Otter Day! - Citizen Science Opportunity

May 30 is World Otter Day! To celebrate, we share this opportunity from the Woodland Park Zoo: if you have ever spotted a wild river otter, or if you encounter one on your next outdoor adventure, tell them about it!
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
May 30, 2018

Happy World Otter Day! Organized by the International Otter Survival Fund, this day aims to raise awareness of the 13 otter species worldwide and the threats they face. Locally, the Woodland Park Zoo is looking to understand the behavior of PNW otters and you can help!

If you have ever spotted a wild river otter or if you encounter one on your next outdoor adventure, the Woodland Park Zoo wants to know about it! 

Learn More/Submit Sightings

Your otter sightings are extremely valuable and are giving a better idea of river otter range and behavior throughout the state of Washington. With the help of participants’ sightings, Woodland Park Zoo’s Living Northwest—North American River Otter conservation project (affiliated with Otter Spotter) has been studying the contaminant levels of otters along the Green-Duwamish River.

To help you identify your otters, Woodland Park Zoo created a semi-aquatic mammal identification guide. As you head outdoors this spring, use it to determine if you did indeed spot a river otter, or if it was another similar-looking animal often found in the same habitat. 

So far, the project's contributors have 750 sightings so far - and you can help, too. Be an Otter Spotter!


More information about the study can be found in this feature from Scientific American online.