The following three images were captured on my final rafting trip down the Taos Box section of the Rio Grande, ending the 2015 season on August 2nd with a special moment. 33 river otters were reintroduced to the Upper Rio Grande between 2008 and 2010, after a 60–year absence. I have no idea of their numbers today but I know a sighting is a momentous occasion and photographing them is “over the top”.
“The river otter is a swift and strong semi-aquatic predator that thrives wherever there is enough clean water and an adequate food base. Otters use water for hunting for food, cavorting, traveling, and as a refuge from danger. Riparian ecosystems, where willows and other wetland and streamside plants grow, make good homes for otters, whether along desert streams or mountain freshets. Dense, glossy brown fur, with longer guard hairs, keep them warm and dry in icy winter waters. They are primarily active in the day, and can sometimes be seen playing and hunting in the morning and late afternoon.”
(click on image to enlarge)
The Case for River Otter Restoration in New Mexico
A Report to the River Otter Working Group
Melissa Savage and Jon Klingel
The Four Corners Institute Santa Fe, New Mexico
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