Asian Carp in the Diet of River Otters in Illinois

Preston D. Feltrop, Clayton K. Nielsen, Eric M. Schauber

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Populations of invasive silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) and bighead carp (H. nobilis), collectively known as "Asian carp," are growing rapidly in Illinois and may make up a large fraction of available prey for river otters (Lontra canadensis) in larger waterbodies. Our goals were to assess the frequency of Asian carp in otter diets and compare the frequency of occurrence of prey groups (fish, crayfish, and amphibians) in otter diets between land cover types and seasons. We searched for Asian carp otoliths and pharyngeal teeth, as well as parts of other fishes, crayfish, and amphibians in 155 otter scats collected from 43 stream sites in central and southern Illinois during January-April 2013 and 2014. Consistent with previous studies, fish and crayfish were primary prey items for otters, followed by amphibians. The proportion of crayfish increased from January-February to March-April, but the occurrence of the other prey types remained similar between those periods. Land cover type did not influence frequency of occurrence of prey types. Asian carp pharyngeal teeth and otoliths occurred in four (2.6%) scat samples, two from sites where Asian carp were not previously confirmed to be present. This is the first direct confirmation of Asian carp in the diet of wild river otters. Otoliths and pharyngeal teeth provided effective structures for identifying fish species in otter diet.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)298-305
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Midland Naturalist
Volume176
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016

Fingerprint

Lontra canadensis
crayfish
carp
otolith
amphibian
diet
tooth
fish
otoliths
river
Hypophthalmichthys nobilis
amphibians
Hypophthalmichthys molitrix
land cover
teeth
feces
silver

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Asian Carp in the Diet of River Otters in Illinois. / Feltrop, Preston D.; Nielsen, Clayton K.; Schauber, Eric M.

In: American Midland Naturalist, Vol. 176, No. 2, 01.10.2016, p. 298-305.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Feltrop, Preston D. ; Nielsen, Clayton K. ; Schauber, Eric M. / Asian Carp in the Diet of River Otters in Illinois. In: American Midland Naturalist. 2016 ; Vol. 176, No. 2. pp. 298-305.
@article{688bd4781df847ce94c8910a3f13ed54,
title = "Asian Carp in the Diet of River Otters in Illinois",
abstract = "Populations of invasive silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) and bighead carp (H. nobilis), collectively known as {"}Asian carp,{"} are growing rapidly in Illinois and may make up a large fraction of available prey for river otters (Lontra canadensis) in larger waterbodies. Our goals were to assess the frequency of Asian carp in otter diets and compare the frequency of occurrence of prey groups (fish, crayfish, and amphibians) in otter diets between land cover types and seasons. We searched for Asian carp otoliths and pharyngeal teeth, as well as parts of other fishes, crayfish, and amphibians in 155 otter scats collected from 43 stream sites in central and southern Illinois during January-April 2013 and 2014. Consistent with previous studies, fish and crayfish were primary prey items for otters, followed by amphibians. The proportion of crayfish increased from January-February to March-April, but the occurrence of the other prey types remained similar between those periods. Land cover type did not influence frequency of occurrence of prey types. Asian carp pharyngeal teeth and otoliths occurred in four (2.6{\%}) scat samples, two from sites where Asian carp were not previously confirmed to be present. This is the first direct confirmation of Asian carp in the diet of wild river otters. Otoliths and pharyngeal teeth provided effective structures for identifying fish species in otter diet.",
author = "Feltrop, {Preston D.} and Nielsen, {Clayton K.} and Schauber, {Eric M.}",
year = "2016",
month = "10",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1674/0003-0031-176.2.298",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "176",
pages = "298--305",
journal = "American Midland Naturalist",
issn = "0003-0031",
publisher = "University of Notre Dame",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Asian Carp in the Diet of River Otters in Illinois

AU - Feltrop, Preston D.

AU - Nielsen, Clayton K.

AU - Schauber, Eric M.

PY - 2016/10/1

Y1 - 2016/10/1

N2 - Populations of invasive silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) and bighead carp (H. nobilis), collectively known as "Asian carp," are growing rapidly in Illinois and may make up a large fraction of available prey for river otters (Lontra canadensis) in larger waterbodies. Our goals were to assess the frequency of Asian carp in otter diets and compare the frequency of occurrence of prey groups (fish, crayfish, and amphibians) in otter diets between land cover types and seasons. We searched for Asian carp otoliths and pharyngeal teeth, as well as parts of other fishes, crayfish, and amphibians in 155 otter scats collected from 43 stream sites in central and southern Illinois during January-April 2013 and 2014. Consistent with previous studies, fish and crayfish were primary prey items for otters, followed by amphibians. The proportion of crayfish increased from January-February to March-April, but the occurrence of the other prey types remained similar between those periods. Land cover type did not influence frequency of occurrence of prey types. Asian carp pharyngeal teeth and otoliths occurred in four (2.6%) scat samples, two from sites where Asian carp were not previously confirmed to be present. This is the first direct confirmation of Asian carp in the diet of wild river otters. Otoliths and pharyngeal teeth provided effective structures for identifying fish species in otter diet.

AB - Populations of invasive silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) and bighead carp (H. nobilis), collectively known as "Asian carp," are growing rapidly in Illinois and may make up a large fraction of available prey for river otters (Lontra canadensis) in larger waterbodies. Our goals were to assess the frequency of Asian carp in otter diets and compare the frequency of occurrence of prey groups (fish, crayfish, and amphibians) in otter diets between land cover types and seasons. We searched for Asian carp otoliths and pharyngeal teeth, as well as parts of other fishes, crayfish, and amphibians in 155 otter scats collected from 43 stream sites in central and southern Illinois during January-April 2013 and 2014. Consistent with previous studies, fish and crayfish were primary prey items for otters, followed by amphibians. The proportion of crayfish increased from January-February to March-April, but the occurrence of the other prey types remained similar between those periods. Land cover type did not influence frequency of occurrence of prey types. Asian carp pharyngeal teeth and otoliths occurred in four (2.6%) scat samples, two from sites where Asian carp were not previously confirmed to be present. This is the first direct confirmation of Asian carp in the diet of wild river otters. Otoliths and pharyngeal teeth provided effective structures for identifying fish species in otter diet.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84990834283&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84990834283&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1674/0003-0031-176.2.298

DO - 10.1674/0003-0031-176.2.298

M3 - Review article

AN - SCOPUS:84990834283

VL - 176

SP - 298

EP - 305

JO - American Midland Naturalist

JF - American Midland Naturalist

SN - 0003-0031

IS - 2

ER -