The spatial behaviour of 10 Southern river otters Lontra provocax was analysed using radio-tracking data collected in the Queule River, Southern Chile. The estimated otter density was 0.25 individuals km-1. Females with cubs and adult otters displaying mating behaviours were the only social group recorded. Studied otters were solitary and observed behaviour patterns suggest an intrasexual territoriality. No home range overlap among males existed while an average of 33% and 87% home range overlapped among females and between sexes, respectively. In the situation of core areas, only one case of overlapping between an adult male and an adult female was observed. Average home range and core area lengths were 11.3 km and 0.9 km, respectively. Otters used rivers more frequently than expected, whereas they avoided small streams. Low intensity livestock farming, without canalization of watercourses and riparian vegetation extraction practices, seems compatible with the presence of Southern river otter populations since the spatial behaviour of the studied otters was not affected under these circumstances. Based on the present official reserve sizes and distribution within the country, and also the increase of variant anthropogenic land uses outside these areas that result with consequent habitat loss and deterioration, we strongly recommend considering the importance of spatial dimension in quantity and quality habitats in further conservation planning for the Southern river otter using an integrated catchment management.
Áreas temáticas de ASJC Scopus
- Ecología, evolución, comportamiento y sistemática
- Conservación de la naturaleza y el paisaje