ROCKLAND — The Rockland Public Library presents Kirk Gentalen, Thursday, Nov. 18, at 6:30 p.m. This event is free and open to all.

Tracks from two otters in the snow.

River otters (Lontra canadensis) are the largest member of the Weasel family (Mustelidae) in Maine, but they often go undetected due to their (largely) nocturnal habits. Otters are plentiful in the state, however, and especially numerous along the coast and on seaward islands. In this program, experienced tracker Kirk Gentalen discusses river otter natural history and behavior, as well as tricks and tips to increase your experiences with these creatures. We’ll go over what otter sign is and how to find it, as well as where to put your game camera for the best chance of getting photos. Gentalen will share photos and stories of his encounters with this remarkable species and answer questions.

Gentalen has been observing nature for a while now, with 27 years of experience leading nature excursions in 11 different states. Kirk currently lives in Tenants Harbor and is the Vinalhaven Steward for the Maine Coast Heritage Trust (MCHT). Gentalen has been an active otter tracker for 17 years, and is called in to survey wildlife by land trusts and private citizens, particularly when otters are involved. Gentalen also edits the “Vinalhaven Sightings Report” blog (vinalhavensightings.blogspot.com) and writes the “Nature Bummin’ with Kirk Gentalen” column for the MCHT website (mcht.org).

Otter tracks.

This event will be held in-person in the Rockland Public Library’s Community Room, with limited seating. The Library is located at 80 Union Street.

In-person events at the Library are subject to transition to fully virtual in response to area COVID-19 transmission rates. For more information, email elewis@rocklandmaine.gov.