Knowing where otters are is important for many reasons—for example, protecting endangered species that can be otter food, like coho salmon or the chicks of Ridgway’s rails. The fur of this species is smoother and shorter than that of other otters, and they use scent to communicate both within the otter species, and with other animals. Small rounded ears and nostrils close when the otter is underwater. All species of Otters are mammals due to the fact that they give live birth to their offspring and that they nurse from their mothers. That’s because this body type directly borrows from north American otters who are known for this trait . Otters make great use of tools. Otters have a very unique feature that all species have exhibited – the ability to use tools to open up food. Even so, you are better off to observe them from a distance in their natural habitat. Some of them have long claws, others have those that are very short or simply lack of them. The Giant Otter is one of the most popular that people know about. The European otter, or l utra lutra (scientific name), is a carniverous mammal of the Mustelidae family (mustelid). Sea Otter. This otter is found in coastal areas and on larger inland rivers across Southeast Asia (Myanmar, South Thailand, Cambodia, South Vietnam and Peninsular Malaysia, including Sumatra and Borneo). Body Type: Large, hairy, often with facial hair. It is a gregarious species, living in groups of up to 20 individuals, and will attack potential predators such as caimans. What is an otter? Should that bacteria develop it would harm and even kill Otters and other types of animals found in the water. If one of your favourite foods includes shellfish, you’re going to need … There are 13 known species of Otters left in the world with at least one that was removed from the list due to extinction. Otters have a long muscular tail, short stout legs and thick oiled fur. Excellent and lithe swimmers, the young are in the water by 10 weeks of age. Males are larger than females. Even the laws and regulations protecting otters varies from state to state in the USA. Sea otters have the thickest fur of any mammal, which makes them a common target for many hunters. Otters spend a large amount of time in the water, yet they still have fur. “Ugliest orchid in the world” among new plant species named in 2020, Hippo guide: species facts and the best places to see in the wild. In the mean time a great deal of effort is put on making sure that the remaining 13 species of Otters out there continue to thrive. It is one of the rarest otter species. Sign surveys started in 2009 and tell us which habitats otters use in the park, over time. Currently stable populations exist in parts of the Russian east coast, Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, and California, with reports of recolonisations in Mexico and Japan. Also known as the Cape clawless otter, the African clawless otter is found through much of sub-Saharan Africa. Its scientific name is Emhydra Lutris Lutris Linneo, and it is also called Asian sea otter. Guessing as to the reason for their widespread distribution, it could be suggested that each solitary otter requires a very large territory, as in the case of the Eurasian Otter. Extremely few individuals survive in Vietnam, southern Thailand, Sumatra and Cambodia, mainly due to poaching. The marine otter is found along the western coast of the South American continent, with patchy distribution due to some unsuitable habitat and increased human occupation. This is due to the severe damage that it creates for their coat. It is found most often in areas with protection from the most severe ocean winds, such as rocky coastlines, thick kelp forests, and barrier reefs. Types of Otters. Lutra longicaudis- A solitary species, but still the most widespread otter in Central and South America. Thus, although widespread, it's still la… Others like it where it is warmer. Otter Species. The African clawless otter is carnivorous. Also known as Oriental small-clowed otters, these otters are often seen in zoos, which makes them one of the more familiar otter species for many people. Do you have any nicknames? There are 13 known species of Otters left in the world with at least one that was removed from the list due to extinction. Part of what makes an otter and otter, at least in gaydom, is his playful personality. That's quite a handfu… Its diet consists of crabs, lobsters, insects, frogs, and a wide array of fish species. Otters are fascinating animals as well as being adorable. This species has the widest distribution of all the Lontra … Meet the adorable members of the otter family from around the world. In Monterey Bay, California, researchers found that each sea otter tends to specialize in only a few types of the more than 50 available invertebrates. In Florida, river otters weigh 5-14 kg (11-31 lb). The North American river otter's body is built for streamlined swimming. Food studies done in different parts of the United States show that they eat whatever species are most common and easiest to catch. Designed by Elegant Themes | Powered by WordPress. Their dense, short under-fur is overlain by darker, coarse guard hairs that help repel water. They spend most of their time in the water, whereas other otters spend much of their time on land. The neotropical otter is also called the South American river otter, the long-tailed otter, and the La Plata otter. Sign in to manage your newsletter preferences. An endangered species, the adult sea otter is the smallest of the marine mammals. There are 13 extant species of otter around the world, one of which is native to the UK. This is due to the severe damage that it creates for their coat. River otters are sometimes mistaken for their much larger seagoing cousin, the sea otter. North American river otters (L. canadensis) are still taken as part of the commercial fur trade, but the primary threats to others are the destruction of wetland habitats and pollution. Their small heads widen to long necks and shoulders, and they have flattened, well-muscled tails. Try 3 issues of BBC Wildlife Magazine for just £5! Two species are marine, with the others living predominantly in fresh water. River otters will also move under mobile homes or decks of houses located very close to the water. However, all species of Otters are small in size and they are very playful. All of the species live both in the water and on land for rest. They will fight when necessary but they aren’t known to attack unprovoked. Check out our iNaturalist projects: Minnesota Metro Otter Survey However, it is important to note that these animals need adequate land to be able to survive. The Sea Otter is also one that is very popular due to the attention it gets for being different from the others in some huge ways. Archaeological evidence indicates that for thousands of years, indigenous peoples have hunted sea otters for food and fur. They movement of the kelp throughout the water actually helps to improve the quality of the ecosystem for everything that lives in it. On the Shetland Islands, some otters have been known to abandon fishing in favour of rabbit hunting. Sea otters are native to the coasts of the northern and eastern North Pacific Ocean. Already have an account with us? River otters forage alone or in pairs. This last might be because the tail of a neotropical otter is sometimes as long as, or longer than, its body. To ensure that they stay dry they must spend… It is one of the rarest otter species. This species has the widest distribution of all the Lontra species, from northern and central Argentina up through south and central America to northwest Mexico. While it’s hard to paint with a wide brush, it is fair to say that many of … The South American river otter can be found in marine, freshwater, and terrestrial habitats throughout Chile and Argentina. It is common in Lake Victoria and Zambia, but not in some lakes and rivers, such as in the Zambezi below the Victoria Falls. Many people don’t realize the value that the Otter contributes to its environment. Without it they will experience high levels of stress. They have been able to adjust to new environments due to their land being taken over. Otter - Otter - Conservation and classification: Nearly all species of otters face increasing threat as urbanization and logging continue. There are three known subspecies of sea otters, which differ only by their body´s size and some other individual characteristics of their teeth and skulls. It has a stocky body, short legs, webbed feet, and a long tail. As of 2011, they can be found in every English county, including some urban rivers. Due to the large volume of food they consume, otters can prove very problematic for fishermen or private land owners. iNaturalist.com is a citizen science project that allows us to track the location of species we are studying, such as otters, and invasive species within our park. The otter closes its nostrils and small ears when submerged. For example they can’t do well when the waters contain pollutants including chemicals or oil. This species is the most widely distributed of all the otters, ranging through Eurasia up to the Arctic Circle, from Ireland to Kamchatka, and south to North Africa, Sri Lanka and Indonesia. Many researchers believe that there may be more species of Otters out there. Because otters are so smart, and if you are looking for a humane approach to trapping and releasing them, your best options are either a spring load trap or a gravity trap. All 13 species of otters are wild animals, extremely sensitive to environmental changes, and are a marking, latrine species. They have been able to adjust to new environments due to their land being taken over. Early hunting methods included darts, arrows, nets and snares but later, traps were set on land and guns used. Get Involved! Otters have been hunted for their pelts from at least the 1700s, although it may have begun well before then. Without these benefits from the Otters the environment would be very different to live in. However, sea otters are acclimated to salt water, and come to shore only for occasional rest periods and to give birth. Types of Sea Otters. Bears. The Neotropical otter is the greatest generalist of all otter species, inhabiting a range of habitats including wastewater treatment plants, rice and sugar cane plantations, drainage ditches and swamps to cold, glacial lakes in the Andes of Ecuador. The elusive otter is one of our top predators, feeding mainly on fish (particularly eels and salmonids), waterbirds, amphibians and crustaceans. Sea Otter; African Clawless Otter; European Otter; Giant Otter; Northern River Otter; For example they can’t do well when the waters contain pollutants including chemicals or oil. In some areas where two or more species overlap, one may be a marine species and the other a freshwater species, such as the marine and southern otters of southern South America. Generally, they can be divided into three categories: body grip traps, paw hold traps, and live cages. Neotropical river otter, Lontra longicaudis. Common Sea Otter. This species occurs throughout the USA and Canada, and has been reintroduced to midwestern USA in order to expand its distribution. Otter Species. There are 13 species in total, ranging from the small-clawed otter to the giant otter. These otters have brown-to-gray fur, and their undersides are a lighter, silvery shade. There are seven species of mustelid living in the wild in the UK, each varying widely in looks and behaviour. You're now subscribed to our newsletter. In the UK, the otters are protected completely under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Spotted-necked otter. They don’t have a natural fear of humans though like so many other animals do. Until 1998, it was thought to have been extinct, but small populations have been discovered since then. Thanks! Discover more fascinating facts about giant otters in our fact file by the International Otter Survival Fund. 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