Effects of oiling on exercise physiology and diving behavior of river otters: a captive study

  title={Effects of oiling on exercise physiology and diving behavior of river otters: a captive study},
  author={Merav Ben-David and Terrie M. Williams and Olav A. Ormseth},
  journal={Canadian Journal of Zoology},
Following the Exxon Valdez oil spill (EVOS), river otters (Lontra canadensis) on oiled shores had lower body mass, selected different habitat characters, and had larger home ranges and less diverse diets than did otters living in non-oiled areas. We explored the possibility that these changes were due to the effect of crude oil contamination on physiological and behavioral processes in otters. Fifteen otters were exposed to two levels of oil contamination under captive controlled conditions at… 

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The results suggested that opposing processes were concurring in the oiled otters, and the exploration and development of other biomarkers that will be independent from the heme cycle are advocated to provide additional information to the effect of oiling on live mammals.

Post-release survival of river otters: Effects of exposure to crude oil and captivity

Results indicated that the captive, newly released animals (i.e., experimental otters) had a significantly lower survival rate than wild animals, but found no effect from exposure to hydrocarbons once rehabilitation was accomplished, but noted that lower levels of hemoglobin were negatively correlated with survival and likely resulted in death from starvation.

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Effects of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill on River Otters: Injury and Recovery of a Sentinel Species

Integration of individual-based and population-level studies is essential to understanding effects of pollution on populations and ecosystems, and an example of such integration from the exploration of effects of the Exxon Valdez oil spill on river otters inhabiting the terrestrial-marine interface in Prince William Sound, Alaska, USA is provided.

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Sea otter Enhydra lutris populations were severely affected by the 1989 'Exxon Valdez' oil spill in western Prince William Sound, AK, and had not fully recovered by 2000. Here we present results of

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Overview of Effects of Oil Spills on Marine Mammals

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The diving behavior of African clawless and spotted-necked otters in freshwater environments

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Ingestion of crude oil: effects on digesta retention times and nutrient uptake in captive river otters

While the ingestion of large quantities of weathered crude oil appears to reduce absorption of oil hydrocarbons and may alleviate systemic effects, it may concurrently affect body condition by impacting digestive function.

Changes in diets of river otters in Prince William Sound, Alaska: effects of the Exxon Valdez oil spill

We studied the effects of the Exxon Valdez oil spill on the diets of river otters (Lutra canadensis) from oiled and nonoiled areas of Prince William Sound, Alaska, U.S.A., in 1989 and 1990. On the

Habitat Selection and Home Ranges of River Otters in a Marine Environment: Effects of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill

We studied habitat selection and home ranges of river otters ( Lutra canadensis ) living along the coastlines of Prince William Sound, Alaska, following the Exxon Valdez oil spill in late March 1989.

Differences in faecal profiles of porphyrins among river otters exposed to the Exxon Valdez oil spill.

    A. BlajeskiL. DuffyR. Bowyer
    Environmental Science
    Biomarkers : biochemical indicators of exposure, response, and susceptibility to chemicals
  • 1996
This is the first model showing the effects of an oil spill on porphyrins on a free-ranging mammal using a non-lethal methodology and suggests that river otters may serve as a suitable indicator species in which p Morphyrin profiles can be used to monitor the effectsof marine and freshwater crude oil exposure.

Evidence for Recovery of Body Mass and Haptoglobin Values of River Otters Following the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill

It is proposed that river otters may be recovering from chronic effects that were observed in 1990 and 1991 following the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, but further research is necessary to test this hypothesis.

exposed to the Exxon Valdez oil spill

~~~~, Univenw of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska 99775; USA; and R11y Bower is at the InStiMe of Antic Biology and Deparbnent of Bidogy and Wildlife, Universrty of Alaska fairbanks, Fairbanks,

Association of Propulsive Swimming Mode with Behavior in River Otters (Lutra canadensis)

The propulsive swimming modes of river otters were examined relative to behavior and found that transition from paddling to undulatory propulsion was accomplished by use of simultaneous hind-limb paddling in concert with dorsoventral body and tail flexion.

Locomotory patterns and external morphology of the river otter, sea otter, and harp seal (Mammalia).

There is an increased tendency from Lutra to Enhydra to Pagophilus toward enlarged highly specialized feet, approximating a perfect lunate border, and Tail surface area decreases in the above order.


The data support hypothesis (c), but are not in full agreement with the hypotheses (a) and (b) which were developed for multiple-prey loaders unlike the otter, because the otters' preference for shallow water is possibly a result of the lower thermoregulatory costs, and the shorter travel time.