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types of otters

Generally speaking mustelids are long-bodied, short-legged, thickly furred and tend to be active at night, which makes them elusive. Otters are gentle creatures by nature that tend to mind their own business. River otters forage alone or in pairs. The South American river otter can be found in marine, freshwater, and terrestrial habitats throughout Chile and Argentina. North American river otters, also called Canadian otters, have long, muscular, streamlined bodies with short legs and fully webbed feet bearing non-retractable claws. This is no easy feat with some of them experiencing drastically low numbers already. This is why so many people take delight in observing them. Neotropical river otter, Lontra longicaudis. This top OtterBox is the near-perfect middle ground for people who desire high-level protection against damages from bumps, scratches, drops, and more, but who prefer not to have a bulky case that won’t let their phone fit in their pocket. Until 1998, it was thought to have been extinct, but small populations have been discovered since then. It is common in Lake Victoria and Zambia, but not in some lakes and rivers, such as in the Zambezi below the Victoria Falls. Also known as the Cape clawless otter, the African clawless otter is found through much of sub-Saharan Africa. The giant otter is found in South America in a range of countries including Peru, Venezuela and Brazil. For example they can’t do well when the waters contain pollutants including chemicals or oil. An endangered species, the adult sea otter is the smallest of the marine mammals. Sea otters are native to the coasts of the northern and eastern North Pacific Ocean. Otters spend a large amount of time in the water, yet they still have fur. 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. There are 13 known species of Otters left in the world with at least one that was removed from the list due to extinction. It is a gregarious species, living in groups of up to 20 individuals, and will attack potential predators such as caimans. 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 contrast to the European otter, the North American river otter has a longer neck and narrower face. Even so, you are better off to observe them from a distance in their natural habitat. Some species of Otters live in the extremely cold waters. This is due to the severe damage that it creates for their coat. However, all species of Otters are small in size and they are very playful. 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. Its scientific name is Emhydra Lutris Lutris Linneo, and it is also called Asian sea otter. Meet the adorable members of the otter family from around the world. Archaeological evidence indicates that for thousands of years, indigenous peoples have hunted sea otters for food and fur. Otters range in size from 3 kg (6.6 pounds) in the Asian small-clawed otter (Aonyx cinereus, formerly Amblonyx cinereus) to 26 kg (57 pounds) in the giant otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) and 45 kg (99 pounds) in the sea otter (Enhydra lutris). Discover more fascinating facts about giant otters in our fact file by the International Otter Survival Fund. The elusive otter is one of our top predators, feeding mainly on fish (particularly eels and salmonids), waterbirds, amphibians and crustaceans. How to Get Rid of Otters in the River Otters are a playful bunch, enjoying social interactions and daily routines with obvious glee. 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. A good portion of African clawless otter’s hunting is done under the water, particularly shallow water. 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. Males are larger than females. They have been seen using rocks to smash shells when they can’t get them to open with their powerful claws. In the UK, the otters are protected completely under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. In the wild, the distribution range of this species includes India, Taiwan and southern China. This includes when they are in captivity. What they will have access to depend on where they live. Small rounded ears and nostrils close when the otter is underwater. Though they typically forage alone, sea otters tend to rest together and link arms in single-sex groups called rafts. 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. Types of Otters. The types of otters found in an area and the laws for their protection varies from country to country. Maybe you sometimes go by your middle name instead of your first name. Body Type: Large, hairy, often with facial hair. The Otters’ scientific name is Lutrinae and in this article we will focus on the river otters among which we find four very important species such as the river wolves, the north American River Otter, the eurasian otters and finally the extinct Japanese otter. 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. They movement of the kelp throughout the water actually helps to improve the quality of the ecosystem for everything that lives in it. You can discover some of our favourite otter facts here: Editorial and digital co-ordinator at BBC Wildlife Magazine, and countryfile.com. Otters have a very unique feature that all species have exhibited – the ability to use tools to open up food. However, this hasn’t always worked in their favor. Some species of animals have multiple names too, including the neotropical otter. 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. Others like it where it is warmer. It is one of the rarest otter species. They spend most of their time in the water, whereas other otters spend much of their time on land. Due to the large volume of food they consume, otters can prove very problematic for fishermen or private land owners. Sea otters have the thickest fur of any mammal, which makes them a common target for many hunters. 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. On the Shetland Islands, some otters have been known to abandon fishing in favour of rabbit hunting. This is due to the severe damage that it creates for their coat. The neotropical otter is also called the South American river otter, the long-tailed otter, and the La Plata otter. Otter - Otter - Conservation and classification: Nearly all species of otters face increasing threat as urbanization and logging continue. Do you have any nicknames? An isolated population of the species is also found in the marshes of Iraq indicating the range must once have been wider. Excellent and lithe swimmers, the young are in the water by 10 weeks of age. Early hunting methods included darts, arrows, nets and snares but later, traps were set on land and guns used. Their varied and adaptable diets mean they may inhabit any unpolluted body of fresh water, including lakes, streams, rivers, and ponds, as long as there are adequate food supplies. Types of Sea Otters. There are seven species of mustelid living in the wild in the UK, each varying widely in looks and behaviour. Thanks! Large-scale hunting, part of the Maritime Fur Trade, which would eventually kill approximately one million sea otters, began in the 18th century when hunters and traders began to arrive from all over the world to meet foreign demand for otter pelts, which were one of the world's most valua… That’s because this body type directly borrows from north American otters who are known for this trait . River otters will also move under mobile homes or decks of houses located very close to the water. Try 3 issues of BBC Wildlife Magazine for just £5! This is known to keep various types of bacteria from developing. Otter Species. 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. Designed by Elegant Themes | Powered by WordPress. It is one of the rarest otter species. Common 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. 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. 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. Many people don’t realize the value that the Otter contributes to its environment. All 13 species of otters are wild animals, extremely sensitive to environmental changes, and are a marking, latrine species. Description. All of the species live both in the water and on land for rest. Two species are marine, with the others living predominantly in fresh water. As of 2011, they can be found in every English county, including some urban rivers. Many researchers believe that there may be more species of Otters out there. This species once had an extensive distribution from the Cauquenes and Cachapoal Rivers to the Magellan region in Chile, but is now restricted to seven isolated areas from Cautín to Futaleufú due to overhunting. Otters … Otter Species. Sign in to manage your newsletter preferences. 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. Should that bacteria develop it would harm and even kill Otters and other types of animals found in the water. There is some debate as to whether the Congo clawless otter is a separate species to the African clawless otter (A.capensis), but it is considered a separate species by the IUCN Otter Specialist Group. Generally, they can be divided into three categories: body grip traps, paw hold traps, and live cages. Thus, although widespread, it's still la… 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. 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 are fascinating animals as well as being adorable. Otters have their cubs in underground burrows, known as 'holts'. 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). That's quite a handfu… In comparison, river otters can be found in fresh, brackish, or salt water, and can travel overland for considerable distances. They tend to consume a variety of meat items including fish, frogs, and anything else that can be found in their environment. This is one of the main reasons why they have been so easy to capture and to kill for their fur over the years. There are 13 species in total, ranging from the small-clawed otter to the giant otter. Sea Otter. For all-around protection, durability, and style, look no further than the OtterBox Commuter Series. It is found in the rainforests of the Congo basin including Democratic Republic of Congo, Equitorial Guinea and Gabon. The African clawless otter is carnivorous. Spotted-necked otter. What is an otter? They have been able to adjust to new environments due to their land being taken over. Biologists found remains of sunfish, carp and shad most often in droppings collected in northwestern Illinois. You can unsubscribe at any time. Fish are the river otter's main prey. Extremely few individuals survive in Vietnam, southern Thailand, Sumatra and Cambodia, mainly due to poaching. 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. The North American river otter's body is built for streamlined swimming. Otters have been hunted for their pelts from at least the 1700s, although it may have begun well before then. This last might be because the tail of a neotropical otter is sometimes as long as, or longer than, its body. They have been able to adjust to new environments due to their land being taken over. As the largest otter, it can reach up to 2m in length. 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. By entering your details, you are agreeing to Discover Wildlife terms and conditions and privacy policy. To ensure that they stay dry they must spend… Without these benefits from the Otters the environment would be very different to live in. Get Involved! In Florida, river otters weigh 5-14 kg (11-31 lb). It has a stocky body, short legs, webbed feet, and a long tail. Sign surveys started in 2009 and tell us which habitats otters use in the park, over time. It’s a member of the weasel family, and the only marine mammal that doesn’t have blubber to keep it warm. This species can grow quite large, almost as big as the giant otter, and weigh up to 18kg. The otter closes its nostrils and small ears when submerged. Even the laws and regulations protecting otters varies from state to state in the USA. [16] They frequently carry a rock in a pouch under their forearm and use this to smash open shells, making them one of the relatively small number of animals that use tools. While they are very intelligent though simply can’t adapt to some of the changes that come their way due to humans. This species has the widest distribution of all the Lontra … They don’t have a natural fear of humans though like so many other animals do. You're now subscribed to our newsletter. Some of them have long claws, others have those that are very short or simply lack of them. Bears. There are several types of traps that have been designed for otters. Without it they will experience high levels of stress. Already have an account with us? Part of what makes an otter and otter, at least in gaydom, is his playful personality. Lutra longicaudis- A solitary species, but still the most widespread otter in Central and South America. Otters make great use of tools. This species occurs throughout the USA and Canada, and has been reintroduced to midwestern USA in order to expand its distribution. There are 13 extant species of otter around the world, one of which is native to the UK. The Northern Pacific Ocean is the primary location where you will find the Sea Otter. Otter Species. The goal is to help these remaining 13 species to be able to survive for millions more years. Its diet consists of crabs, lobsters, insects, frogs, and a wide array of fish species. Over half of all 13 otter species are endangered or vulnerable and are not legally breed - they have to be capture, usually by killing the mother and confiscating the pups. Description: The bigger, generally older subset … The Giant Otter is one of the most popular that people know about. River otters are sometimes mistaken for their much larger seagoing cousin, the sea otter. For example it helps to move the kelp around in the water. Due to trapping, water pollution and habitat degradation, the numbers of North American river otter had declined through most of their range by the early 1900s. Instead the sea otter relies on its thick fur to keep its body temperature around 100 degrees. If one of your favourite foods includes shellfish, you’re going to need … 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. A raft typically contains 10 to 100 animals, but the largest raft ever seen contained over 2000 sea otters. These otters have brown-to-gray fur, and their undersides are a lighter, silvery shade. In the past, this species was widely employed throughout its range by fishermen, with trained animals being highly valued. Otters are carnivorous mustelids in the Lutrinae subfamily. Food studies done in different parts of the United States show that they eat whatever species are most common and easiest to catch. © Ariadne Van Zandbergen/GettyUntil recently, the spotted-necked otter was considered to be part of the Lutra genus, but it is now placed in the Hydrictus genus. However, only time will tell if they are subspecies of those already identified and classified or not. Smooth-coated otters occur throughout much of the Indian Subcontinent in Java, Sumatra and Borneo, northward to south-western China, east through Nepal and Bhutan and India to Pakistan, excluding the Indus Valley. 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. However, it is important to note that these animals need adequate land to be able to survive. Their small heads widen to long necks and shoulders, and they have flattened, well-muscled tails. ; This mammal has also been known to dine on ducks, small birds (ducks), shrews, reptiles, swans, geese, mollusks, and coots. “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. While it’s hard to paint with a wide brush, it is fair to say that many of … 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. They will fight when necessary but they aren’t known to attack unprovoked. Check out our iNaturalist projects: Minnesota Metro Otter Survey Their dense, short under-fur is overlain by darker, coarse guard hairs that help repel water. Otters have a long muscular tail, short stout legs and thick oiled fur. 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