River Otters, Lontra canadensis were reintroduced to western NY after being extirpated in the early 1900's. The goal of this project was to understand what environmental variables influence habitat selection of river otters, within Monroe County, New York. Water chemistry and the use of benthic macroinvertebrates were investigated to assess the water quality and human impacts. The research area included three tributaries of the Genesee River: Black, Honeoye, and Oatka Creeks. At identified latrine sites, I collected macroinvertebrates at 9 sites and water chemistry at 30 sites to provide an index of the water quality. Geographical Information Systems (GIS) was used to incorporate land use and determine if there are any relationships between water quality and habitat preference. A statistical analysis of the chemistry and invertebrate sites showed that there is not enough evidence to conclude that a significant positive correlation exists between water quality and river otter habitat selection. However, the data suggest that other possible parameters are influencing selection or there just isn't a significant enough difference between the creeks to deter otter inhabitance. With more confirmed otter sites, more data collection may show that there is indeed a significant correlation.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
North American river otter--Habitat--New York (State)--Monroe County; Water quality--New York (State)--Monroe County
Department, Program, or Center
Thomas H. Gosnell School of Life Sciences (COS)
Stelle, Lei Lani
Doherty, Darren, "Distribution patterns of river otters, Lontra canadensis, within Monroe County, New York" (2011). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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