Date of Award

Summer 1979

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biological Sciences



Committee Director

Gerald F. Levy

Committee Member

Daniel Soenshine

Committee Member

Harold G. Marshall

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.B46 P44


To determine the seasonal feeding habits of the river otter (Lutra canadensis) in the Great Dismal Swamp 209 scats were collected, from May 1977 to May 1978, and analyzed for content. Remains of crayfish were found with a frequency of occurrence of 82% while fish remains occurred in 62% of the scat. This is in direct contrast to previous studies (from other areas) which found fish with a greater frequency than crayfish. Fish consumption was believed to increase during periods of low water or low temperatures. Sunfish were represented most frequently and may be the preferred fish. Amphiuma remains were found in April collections. This species has not been previously noted as a food item for otters.


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