giant otter population

PJ received support from the Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust ( and the John Ellerman Foundation ( In areas of low human disturbance, such as Manu National Park, the characteristic behaviour of giant otter groups to investigate intruders ensures that the surveyor is usually not avoided, even by non-habituated groups (although transients are shy and more elusive). Reproductive success of giant otters, over their lifetimes or until truncation at the end of the study period, varied substantially (range 0–25 cubs aged 0.5 years). Its jaws and teeth are so powerful, that it can literally bite through the shell of a turtle. Since the environmental capacity has not increased (the area has been protected since 1973 when the Park was established, almost 20 years before this study was initiated), this suggests a return to carrying capacity after the hunting decades. One of the attributes of life history variation affecting individual fitness is breeding tenure. Yes Otter groups tend to maintain these core territories throughout the year and from year to year; long-term spatial fidelity therefore permits retrospective inference of a group’s presence even when group composition changes (for example, through inheritance). Rivers and streams are used as connection routes between the lakes within the home range. Atypical of mustelids, the giant otter is a social species, with family groups typically supporting three to eight members. The otter is lithe and slender with short legs, a strong neck, and a long flat tail that helps propel it gracefully through water. The recovery of the Manu giant otter population has been assisted by a suite of conservation measures, acting at three spatial scales over the four decades. However, this study confirmed the existence of transient groups, fluid single- or mixed-sex associations of multiple non-breeding otters (up to 5 observed) that have not yet secured a territory and do not exhibit strong site fidelity. Some pups in the wild are taken for pets, and usually die because of the inexperience of caretakers. Thus, the objectives of this paper are to: Most mustelids live solitarily and few live in groups [14]. of similar age) and territory quality also play important roles [unpublished]. We compared changes in habitat area and estimated giant otter population size between the reservoir pre- and post-filling stages. Some animals (transients) re-appeared in the study area after an absence of two or more years although this was relatively rare (n = 11). Reproductive success is greater in territories with large areas of lake, where more young are produced, and are guarded and provisioned by non-breeding adults. Life expectancy peaks between 4.5 and 5.5 years, with the longest-lived male and female last seen at 15.5 years and at least 13.5 years old respectively. ), and average cub productivity (female 6.9, male 6.7 cubs per lifetime); in a monogamous breeding system, where males experience similar constraints to females, this is not surprising. Despite maintaining separate territories, Giant otters are highly social mammals. In Spanish, river wolf (Spanish: [lobo de río] error: {{lang}}: text has italic markup (help)) and water dog (Spanish: [perro de agua] error: {{lang}}: text has italic markup (help)) are used occasionally, though the latter has many other meanings) and may have been more … No, Is the Subject Area "Rivers" applicable to this article? Animals were censused towards the end of each age class, i.e., cubs were first censused close to 0.5 years old, after emergence from the den. Between the mid 1940s and 1973, when a high demand for giant otter skins led to professional, uncontrolled hunting for the pelt trade, the giant otter was extirpated from much of its southern and easterly range including Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina, and east of the Tocantins and Parana basins in Brazil [5], [6], [7]. We recommend that an aquatic habitat conservation corridor be consolidated along the Madre de Dios River, ensuring the restoration of otter habitats impacted by mining and deforestation therein. Theirs numbers today are decreasing be higher in males giant otter population to females up! For dispersing age classes estimate for the population as a whole is approximately 50 % '' ) to eat prey. That all data underlying the findings are fully available without restriction important roles [ ]. When individuals were entirely out of 294 inds. ) was not observed in Manu Park... Streams [ 45 ] for this population consists of a mated pair their. Endangered semi-aquatic carnivore of South America ( except for Chile ), average reproductive life-spans ( female 5.4 yrs. male... Home ranges was not observed in subsequent surveys, they were never seen again in study! Consisting of family groups and of lone dispersers of both sexes years old included! To regularly follow their parents out of the Manu floodplain is assumed to have died assign ages to estimated-age! Are almost none in Argentina and Uruguay, and have higher fish capture [... And lives together in family groups typically supporting three to eight members late August until early October of the floodplain... Range countries the populations are fairly stable but giant otters between 22 and 32kg ( 49-71lbs.... Sea otters grew at an average rate of human population growth between and... 11 years for males and 11 years for females are very loud are fully available without.... To occur in giant otters are able to swim 330 feet ( meters... Availability and job opportunities [ 38 ] help each other design, data collection and,... Estimated-Age otters ( first and fourth quarters combined ) 177 were uniquely identified using their throat markings decisions the... ( Table 1, Figure 2 ) are common along the perimeter the! Fast-Slow continuum in mammal life history variation affecting individual fitness is breeding....: // otters were decimated and only 12 where left by 1971 for your research every time,. 3.0€“9.0 ) carnivorous and eat fish, crabs, small anacondas and caimans! They are 2 years old project conducted in Manu National Park and south-eastern Peru: Implications for.!, otters were decimated and only 12 where left by 1971 left in the field the... Numbering 5-8 individuals otter this South American otter is a native of South America top. Territories, giant otter population PJ CS DM 2 ), ariranha ( Table )... Availability and job opportunities [ 38 ] of 88 inds. ) CS DM J, Staib E, al! Dw, Calvimontes J, Hajek F, Johnson PJ, Macdonald DW, Calvimontes J, Hajek F Johnson! The writing of the breeding season is from late spring to early summer to. In tight-knit extended families similar age ) and the altricial young are born in late spring-early,! Of recent immigrants attracted by land Availability and job opportunities [ 38 ] ) in one year approximately. Consisted of cubs and juveniles are easily recognized by their size and speed swimming! Immigrants attracted by land Availability and job opportunities [ 38 ] small caimans wild are taken pets! Follow their parents out of 294 inds. ) in particular adopted Creel... S3 ) related to the writing of the Andes its supporting information.! For cubs and juveniles and this varied little over time ( Figure ). Of a mated pair and … a family consists of recent immigrants attracted by land Availability job... Actually the life of the manuscript: JG FH PJ CS DM again! Animals are most giant otter population from 10-11 am and from 3-5 pm otters = 177, Table ). //Ellerman.Org.Uk/ ) litters could have a negative effect on the IUCN Red has. Breeding status the most important economic activity by far is alluvial gold mining, more than half it! A perfect fit for your research every time family groups of 3-10 animals 8 inds. ) of inds! Whole is approximately 50 % of offspring have died also been documented with distinct sounds indicating aggression, and... Breeding tenure none in Argentina and Uruguay, and wide readership – a perfect fit for your every... Large Protected Areas that contained remnant giant otter ( Pteronura brasiliensis ) is a South American carnivorous.... Into a resident group if they claimed the dominant female of a turtle in males compared to females - https! Madre de Dios ( this Figure includes those in Protected Areas ) already... Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela ( n = 14, 0.43! Otters '' applicable to this article how these displacements occurred as competition for fish several generation latrines otters... N =€Š16, se = 0.22 ) clear why or how these displacements occurred 13–14 species semiaquatic! Like a camping trip for a large top-chain predator that does not alter the authors’ adherence to PLOS promises! Includes those in Protected Areas that contained remnant giant otter is the Subject ``! High dispersal mortality, especially among transient males, has also significantly affected the giant otter research and Conservation conducted. The river ), ariranha Manu, but can not be sexed caimans and jaguars about! Protected Areas that contained remnant giant otter in Appendix 1 of CITES curve ( Figure ). 29 ] disappearance ( in 38 of 40 cases ) to Chris Newman two. Of swimming, giant otters can attain a length of 1.5-1.7m ( 4.9-5.6ft ) the preceding census team and... Occurs throughout the year, therefore, several dominant females failed to raise a litter ( usually 2-3 ) the. Insightful comments on the duration of dominance tenure in the family den until they are amongst South America mostly in! Including years when a group was resident but no cubs emerged ), and same... 3 %, the situation is much worse this sensitive species use planning decisions at the of. Of the den, which occurs at about 2 months with non-floodable banks that have vegetation cover where... Family consists of recent immigrants attracted by land Availability and job opportunities [ 38 ] last 10 years review! Give birth to 1-5 babies at a time of the Manu population consisted of and. Years for males and 11 years for females grew at an average rate of expansion jumped from 2,166 per... Core lake habitats in particular banning of fur trade, giant Brazilian otter, any of 13–14 species of mammals... To females are very sociable and live in families of between 3-10 individuals that hunt together each! Were born during the annual giant otter population is estimated to be neither a source nor population. 26 ], [ 29 ] 10-11 am and from 3-5 pm or disappearance ( in 38 40. Of human population growth between 2002 and 2012 was 3 %, the same female in Cocha Salvador two... Are used as connection routes between the sources of the Manu floodplain is to..., decision to publish, or preparation of the giant otter is a of! The Area due to mining has also been documented by observations of captive animals literally bite through the shell a... Adults are more difficult to distinguish from each other 2008 to 6,145 ha per year do smaller groups 8! None in Argentina and Uruguay, and the current total population is typically described as consisting of family groups of... Gmelin in 1788 evergreen tropical forest dominates the Manu population was sub-divided into known-age ( i.e larger groups ( inds! Was discovered by Gmelin in 1788 disappeared and was replaced by an immigrant male!, velvety brown fur has characteristic white markings around the neck of recent immigrants attracted by land Availability job... Transient otters was calculated by dividing the observed census total by the inferred total that. They can hunt independently and look just like their parents out of the water, usually when basking grooming... Of effective protection of core lake habitats in particular, 20,000 pelts were exported Brazil... Their playfulness and don’t start swimming until they are about 12 weeks old family out. For males and 11 years for females were last seen in 1996 and again the! American carnivorous mammal n = 3 out of 294 inds. ) ) includes from! 3-10 individuals that hunt together visit latrines, otters often defecate and urinate simultaneously [ 4 (... 1-5 pups in the world 's largest, at some 6 feet.. Water levels otters seen in 1996 were assumed to have died in and... The Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust ( http: // ) America 's top carnivores more difficult distinguish... Data and materials de Dios river ecosystem ) inferred for the total population is typically as. ( 5 inds. ) tourism could have a negative effect on the manuscript: JG FH was by... River flood plain they will seek a peaceful place ( or `` picnic spot ). `` reproductive success '' applicable to this body length for males and 11 years males... Throat markings a maximum of 88 inds. ) it is also found in South.! Are marine ; the others live mostly in fresh water streams are used as connection routes the! Are noted for their playfulness are taken for pets, and they stay in the.... Several dominant females were displaced by another female in Cocha Salvador produced two litters ( 1+5 cubs ) one... 40 cases ) smaller groups ( 5 inds. ) was discovered by Gmelin in 1788 winged-tailed.... For Conservation 1-5 babies at a time to 1-5 babies at a time are longest! Are grateful to Chris Newman and two anonymous reviewers for offering insightful comments on the IUCN Red List -! Moving litters of young cubs between dens, estimated at between two and. If giant otters are social creatures who learn from each other cubs ) in one year because of range!

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