Wildlife Research, Monitoring & Mentoring

Midnight on the pond


Edgartown Great Pond Otters

People are often amazed to learn that river otters inhabit the ponds, streams, and nearshore waters of Martha’s Vineyard.  The most common questions we are asked are: “How many are there?” and “Why don’t I ever see them?”

These photos, taken by a wildlife camera in a secluded section of Edgartown Great Pond, sum it all up for you:

This group of otters were out and about, feeding and loafing at their latrine site, at 12:51 am.  With the exception of college kids on summer break, most of us are sleeping at that hour.

Notice there aren’t any markings on river otters such that you could tell them apart by looking at them.  Some may be a little larger than others, but in most photos, they look like “Darrel, Darrel, and his other brother, Darrel.”

One of them is more interested in the camera than the others.

Satisfied the camera isn’t a threat, the otter resumes its activities, and the group moved off in search of fish and crabs in the Great pond.

Later in the night, a raccoon moves through.

If you are thinking the otters are active at the same places each night, they aren’t. The camera was in place for 10 days, and the otter activity occurred on one night- the 21st of July.  For every two weeks we have a camera here, we may get 2 or 3 visits by otter(s).

These fawns that visited on the 29th were a sweet surprise..

<a href="https://biodiversityworksmv.org/author/luanne-2/" target="_self">Luanne Johnson</a>

Luanne Johnson


Luanne Johnson is the Director of BiodiversityWorks and a wildlife biologist. She has been monitoring, studying, and protecting wildlife on Martha's Vineyard for 27 years.

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