WCS Colombia

Neotropical otter (Lontra longicaudis)

With a wide distribution, this species is found from New Mexico to Uruguay, Paraguay, North Argentina and Brasil. In Colombia inhabits a great variety of regions and ecosystems, including the Atlantic and Pacific estuaries, the Andean rivers up to 3000m, inter-Andean valleys of the Cauca and Magdalena rivers and the Amazon and Orinoquia regions.  These otters usually take refuge in burrows made by themselves near permanent lakes and streams of rapid flow. Its diet is mainly carnivore, composed by fishes, crustaceans, aquatic macro-invertebrates and mollusks, although it can also includes small mammals, birds and fruits.

The Neotropical otter is solitary most of the time, and only stay in pairs during reproductive periods. In Colombia there are not precise populations size estimates; in general the population density is low and are more abundant in areas with extensive aquatic nets, low organic and chemical contamination and low human density. The main threats to the otters are habitat destruction and water contamination. However, due to the high value of the otter´s skin, hunting is also considered a threat. In terms of conservation status, this species is considered Vulnerable by the IUCN and is protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). WCS has been supporting several undergraduate theses on natural history, habitat use and population density in the Quindío river, at the Central Cordillera of the Andes of Colombia.  




Sede Principal (Cali):
Avenida 5 Norte # 22 N - 11 Barrio Versalles
Teléfono: +57 (2) 379 9322
Cel: +57 320 6719711

Sede Bogotá:
Cra. 7 No. 82-66 Torres San José
Torre A - Oficina 312
Teléfono: + 57 (1) 721 8116

Key Staff

Vladimir Rojas Díaz
Associated researcher
All Neotropical otter (Lontra longicaudis) Staff >>

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