A native species of wildlife has made their home at Clear Creek Natural Heritage Center: River Otters! Recently, wildlife cameras placed by Parks and Recreation staff at the Clear Creek Natural Heritage Center captured footage of a family of river otters along one of the trails. While it is believed that river otters have been around the Clear Creek area before via sighting along the creek banks and waterways, this is the first documented sighting of otters in the preserve. Clear Creek Natural Heritage Area has more than 2,900 acres of cross timbers forest, prairie, and wetlands and is home to a diverse range of wildlife.
Through the great work of the City of Denton, Elm Fork Chapter Texas Master Naturalists, and Parks and Recreation staff many of the areas native plants and wildlife have been able to flourish.
A river otter's expected lifespan is up to 12 years. They have litters of pups averaging two to three but can range from a single pup to six. The pups are born blind and toothless and are weaned at about three months. These cute, omnivorous animals pretty much rule while in the water but are more susceptible to coyotes, bobcats, and wild dogs on land. While they are certainly prey for alligators, river otters have been known to return the favor by occasionally predating on alligators. Cute as they may be, they have a fierce side with strong jaws and sharp teeth.
The spring is a great time to visit Clear Creek Natural Heritage Center and see the great native wildlife and plants that decorate the North Texas area. Always remember to be respectful of wildlife when visiting these natural spaces.
To learn more about all of the trails, workshops, and programs out at Clear Creek visit our website: Clear Creek | Denton, TX (cityofdenton.com).