Thriving river otter population now fair game for Ill. trappers
SPRINGFIELD – River otters are fair game for Illinois trappers for the first time since 1929 now that the population is back from the brink in a big way.
A loss of habitat and unregulated trapping had thinned their numbers, and it’s unlikely there were more than 100 remaining before 1990. But since their reintroduction in Illinois in the mid-1990s, their population has boomed, helped by expanding populations in surrounding states.
The critters are known for being especially good swimmers and are prized by trappers for their pelts. They’re also occasional nuisances, gorging in fishing ponds and cleaning out stocks.
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