Spotted-necked Otter


Spotted-necked Otter

Taxobox
name = Spotted-necked Otter
status = LC
status_system = iucn3.1
trend = stable
status_ref = IUCN2006 | assessors = Nel, J.A.J. | year = 2004 | title = Lutra maculicollis | downloaded = 2006-11-14]
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Chordata
classis = Mammalia
ordo = Carnivora
familia = Mustelidae
genus = "Hydrictis"
genus_authority =
species = ""'H. maculicollis
binomial = "Hydrictis maculicollis"
binomial_authority = (Lichtenstein, 1835)
synonyms = "Lutra maculicollis"
range_

range_map_caption = Distribution of Spotted-necked Otter

The Spotted-necked Otter ("Hydrictis maculicollis" syn. "Lutra maculicollis"), or Speckle-throated Otter, is an otter native to sub-Saharan Africa. It is about a meter long and weighs about six kilograms. Like other otters it is sleek and has webbed paws for swimming. Its fur is deep brown and marked with light spots around its throat.

The Spotted-necked Otter hunts for fish and crustaceans in rivers and lakes. A visual hunter, it stays in clear water with good visibility. It is very vocal, uttering high, thin whistles. The female bears a litter of about three young in an underground burrow, and cares for them for almost a year. The otters are sometimes found in family groups. It is a clever animal, quite capable of using rocks to smash open shells. This rudimentary use of tools speaks volumes about the intelligence of the otter.

The Spotted-necked Otter is in decline, mostly due to habitat destruction and pollution of its clear-water habitats. It is hunted as bushmeat.

There are five subspecies.

References

External links

* [http://www.itis.usda.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=622024 ITIS Standard Report]
* [http://www.otterspecialistgroup.org/Species/Lutra_maculicollis.html Otter Specialist Group report]
* [http://www.iucnredlist.org/search/details.php/12420/summ IUCN Red List]


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