The southern river otter is found in the southern parts of Chile and western Argentina. It has a long body, a flat head with small ears, and a broad muzzle with whiskers. It has velvety dark brown hair and light or grayer underparts. Its feet are equipped with claws and webs for swimming. Adults can reach an average body length of 22 to 28 inches with a tail length of 14 to 18 inches. They can weigh up to 20 lb.
The southern river otter prefers estuaries, rivers, and lakes with fresh water for its habitat. It prefers to eat crayfish and freshwater mussels. They are primarily nocturnal and solitary. Breeding may occur in July and August, and the female gives birth to up to 4 pups after a gestation period of 60 days. Social groups are generally composed of the female and her offspring.
Population estimates are unavailable. The main cause of decline is loss of habitat and hunting for its fur. The southern river otter is also affected by pollution of wetlands, since this species requires clean water. The species is legally protected both locally and internationally.
Southern River Otter Facts Last Updated: May 9, 2017
To Cite This Page:
Glenn, C. R. 2006. "Earth's Endangered Creatures - Southern River Otter Facts" (Online).
Accessed 7/10/2020 at http://earthsendangered.com/profile.asp?sp=314&ID=11.
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Eight Species Declared Extinct But May Still be Out There
1. Tasmanian Devil The Tasmanian devil is endemic to Australia. Although this species is called tiger (named for its stripes) and wolf (due to its canid-like appearance), it is not a member of the cat or wolf family. It is a member of the marsupial family. Other members of this family include kangaroos and koala bears.
The last known Tasmanian tiger died in a zoo in Hobart, Tasmania in 1936, but there have been hundreds of unconfirmed sightings, and a reserve has been set up in Southwestern Tasmania in the hopes that possible surviving individuals can have adequate habitat.