A survey was made of the Southern River Otter's (Lutra provocax Thomas) present distribution and its decline during the last century. North of 36°S the otter's decline began after 1880. Between 39°S and 43°S the decline is patchy. South of 43S the decline began around 1930. The reasons for the decline are a combination of habitat destruction, disturbance and hunting. Between 39°S and 43°30′S otter populations were found in seven discrete regions. Re-establishment by the otter is unlikely owing to the separation of the basins and habitat destruction. Tourism and settlement in regions with permanent otter populations could have a significant impact if the density of vegetation cover on river and lake banks is not maintained. Conservation of river otters in Chile should involve three approaches; education, recovery and re-establishment.
Áreas temáticas de ASJC Scopus
- Conservación de la naturaleza y el paisaje