PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — The state Game, Fish and Parks Department is conducting an experiment to evaluate river otter habitat in south-central South Dakota by releasing a few otters in the area.

The river otter is listed by the state as a threatened species.

Wildlife officials have evaluated habitat and searched for evidence of river otters in many of South Dakota's streams and rivers. But no otters have been detected outside their known range, which is primarily east of the James River.

The study will trap up to five otters from South Dakota's population, implant each one with a radio transmitter and then release them on state land along the Little White River. The otters will be monitored to determine the success of the release, the habitats they use and the food they eat.

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