Otter-like animals have inhabited the earth for the last 30 million years and over the years have undergone subtle changes to the carnivore bodies to exploit the rich aquatic environment.
Otters are members of the Mustelid family which includes badgers, polecats, martens, weasels, stoats and mink.
You can find out more about each of the 13 species below and check out their current conservation status in the Red Data List.
You can find out more about each species in “Otters of the World” available at the Ottershop.
The Neotropical Otter (Lontra longicaudis)
||1 to 2 metres nose to tail
||Near Threatened Click here
THE THREAT TO THE SPECIES:
||Habitat destruction and water pollution.
This species is one of the most widespread in South America, ranging from
Central and South America. It is a medium sized otter and lives in a variety of
habitats, from small forest streams and lakes, marshes and coastal savannah
swamps. It has also been reported to live in irrigation ditches among rice and
sugar cane in Guyana.
It feeds mainly on fish and crabs taking smaller species than the Giant Otter. Preferred areas to build the holts were found on rocky shores, or in areas of deep vegetation along small rivers. Little is known of its Ecology or distribution but work in Argentina has put the density at 0.8 otters per km along the coast, and here the otters lived a diurnal and solitary lifestyle.
This otter has suffered from severe hunting throughout its range and is verging on extinction in many areas.
Distribution of the Neotropical Otter (Lontra longicaudis)
Data based on Otters of the World (IOSF 2015)