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Spotted-necked Otter[1]
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Mustelidae
Genus: Hydrictis
Pocock, 1921
Species: H. maculicollis
Binomial name
Hydrictis maculicollis
(Lichtenstein, 1835)
Distribution of Spotted-necked Otter
Synonyms

Lutra maculicollis

The Spotted-necked Otter (Hydrictis 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.

References

  1. ^ Wozencraft, W. C. (16 November 2005). Wilson, D. E., and Reeder, D. M. (eds). ed. Mammal Species of the World (3rd edition ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 0-801-88221-4. http://www.bucknell.edu/msw3.  
  2. ^ Hoffmann M (2008). Lutra maculicollis. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 2008-10-13.

External links

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