The African Clawless Otter is the second largest of all freshwater species. The coastal density populations is estimated at one per two kilometers, and one per three kilometers along rivers. Otters off the coast of South Africa have been caught catching sharks and eating their hearts, livers and male sex organs before discarding the rest of the body. The Otter Hiking Trail is one of South Africa’s most popular trails and is known world-wide. Cubs leave the den at between 16 and 30 days, and are weaned at between 45 and 60 days. SA-Venues.com © 1999-2020. In South Africa, they can be found at the Botlierskop Private Game Reserve on the Garden Route, the Rondevlei Nature Reserve in Cape Town, the Sterkspruit Nature Reserve (optimally situated to explore the Panorama Route and the Kruger National Park too), and the Ilanda Wilds Nature Reserve just outside Durban in KwaZulu-Natal. Wildlife trap cameras and photographers captured footage of Cape clawless otters feasting on parts of the 23 inch long shark species, then discarding the rest. Notable endemic varieties include the Black Oystercatcher, Blue Crane, Cape Parrot, Cape Vulture, Forest Canary, Ground Woodpecker, Jackal Buzzard, Knysna Turaco, Namaqua Sandgrouse, Protea Seedeater, Southern Bald Ibis, Southern Pale Chanting Goshawk, Whitebacked Mousebird, and the Yellow-breasted Pipit. Although they are freshwater animals, the African Clawless Otter may live in a marine environment if there is fresh drinking water nearby. It occurs in any large area of suitable habitat to the south of the Sahara, except the Congo Basin. We need much more information, particularly on distribution, so if you see an otter please click here to give us the details of your record. The following is a small sample of thousands of species of wildlife found in South Africa. In South Africa, African Clawless Otter can be seen in these reserves and parks... SA-Venues.com® has been assisting travellers with their South Africa travel plans since 1999, and is the largest, independent online travel guide for South Africa available in both English and German. The Cape clawless otter, also known as the African clawless otter, is one of two otter species to occur in South Africa. On land, of course, they are more vulnerable to predators. Read more about their distribution in individual countries. Cape Clawless Otters are very playful and agile, and are excellent swimmers. They are well known for the luxurious hair that they have. It is a robust, strong animal; the second-largest freshwater otter species in Africa and the third-largest in the world. These otters are largely fish eaters relying on a wide variety of species but they will occasionally take amphibians and reptiles. There are many global issues which are affecting our wildlife today - habitat loss, pollution, climate change and all the problems associated with poverty. D. T. Rowe-Rowe, Natal Parks Board, Postbox 662, Pietermaritzburg, 3200 South Africa. There is even a belief that the skin can deflect bullets! The African clawless otter is Africa’s most widely distributed otter, from Senegal, through most parts of West Africa as far as Ethiopia, and in the south to South Africa. ECOLOLOGY OF SOUTH AFRICAN OTTERS, THE AONYX CAPENSIS AND HYDRICTIS MACULICOLLIS According to Rowe-Rowe, (1978) South African otters the Cape clawless otter or African clawless otter (Aonyx capensis) and spotted-necked otter (Hydrictis maculicollis) travel manly in aquatic habitat to another, neither of the otters is adapted at terrestrial, they try to keep land travel to a minimum. Learn 15 more facts about these fascinating mammals. Shark species like the brown shyshark are small, ... a marine biologist at South African National Parks, the otters pick out the livers and hears as they are "the most nutritious parts of the body". The river otter was taken off the threatened species list this year, allowing for the first otter trapping season in South Dakota in modern times. Within the assessment region, the species occurs on the east and south coasts of South Africa and sporadically up the west Country Presence Origin Botswana Extant Native Lesotho Extant Native Mozambique waterbodies (Nel & Somers 2007). Species: Neotropical, Southern River, Marine and Giant Otter. These fall into two categories. otter species in Africa (Somers & Nel 2013). Rowan K Jordaan, Michael J Somers, Grant Hall, Trevor McIntyre, The diet of spotted-necked otters foraging in trout-stocked waters in Mpumalanga, South Africa, African Zoology, 10.1080/15627020.2020.1741447, (1-8), (2020). Subscribe for the latest special offers and travel inspiration. The male giant otter is between 4.9 and 5.6 feet long from head to tail and weighs 57-71 pounds while the female is between 3.3 and 4.9 feet and weighs 49-57 pounds. Otters off the coast of South Africa have been caught catching sharks and eating their hearts, livers and male sex organs before discarding the rest of the body.. Over several months a number of shyshark carcases were found by rangers near Simon's Town in False Bay, South Africa with organs removed , Newsweek reported. Shortly after the workshop they received another cub. The International Otter Survival Fund (IOSF) is one of the world's leading otter charities. In the UK IOSF is the only charity solely dedicated to the conservation, protection and care of otters based on years of scientific research in the UK and around the world. They form these groups for foraging purposes. Wildscreen's Arkive project was launched in 2003 and grew to become the world's biggest encyclopaedia of life on Earth. When they do go onto dry land, they usually conceal themselves under rocks or vegetation, or in burrows. Their dark-brown coats are thick and shiny, with white markings on the sides of the face, throat, belly and lower ears, as well as on the upper lips. Threats: habitat d… Being the largest ecosystem in South Africa, the Karoo is home to a fascinating diversity of life, all having adapted to survive in these harsh conditions. The African Clawless Otter (Aonyx capensis) has the widest distribution of all the African otters although it is mostly absent in the Congo basin. Its feet are webbed to enable the best swimming conditions. Wildlife trap cameras and photographers captured footage of Cape … Its feet are webbed to enable the best swimming conditions. More information on the African Otter Network. African Weasel; Bush Pig; Badger; Cape Otter; Hedgehog; Honey Badger; Jamesons Red Rock Rabbit; Mountain Ground Squirrel; Pangolin; Rock Dassie; Striped Polecat; Cape Hare; Scrub Hare; Spring Hare; Cape Ground Squirrel; Tree Squirrel; Eastern Rock Elephant Shrew; Greater Cane Rat; African Giant Pouched Rat; Long-tailed Forest Shrew; Mole; Porcupine; White-Tailed Rat; Ansorges Free Tailed Bat It is an uncommon animal, and entirely absent from the drier and arid regions of the country. These otters mate in late winter and early spring. It is a robust, strong animal; the second-largest freshwater otter species in Africa and the third-largest in the world. Research – more information is needed on otter distribution and threats so that the next update of the Red List will be based on recent information. IOSF. The African Clawless Otter hunts day and night and, while it does favour an aquatic environment, it eats prey from both the land and water. The robust forelimb in particular suggests the animal was an ambush predator which would surprise and subdue its … Kogelberg Nature Reserve - world's greatest biodiversity hot-spot? Find out more. Mollusca is the second-largest phylum of invertebrate animals after the Arthropoda.The members are known as molluscs or mollusks (/ ˈ m ɒ l ə s k /).Around 85,000 extant species of molluscs are recognized. So positive things are happening in Africa. Named after their clawless feet, this otter is also known as the Cape Clawless Otter. The diet of the Cape clawless otter Aonyx capensis was investigated at the Dwessa Nature Re serve and Mkambati Nature Reserve on the Wild Coast, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. Alison Kock, a marine biologist at South African National Parks, studied the remains of the shyshark carcass and said otters … Travelling to South Africa? Apart from human threats, the only predators with which this otter needs to battle within their aquatic environment are Nile Crocodiles and Fish Eagles. Find and book hotels and accommodation in South Africa. The natural distribution of the Cape Clawless Otter ranges through most of Africa south of the Sahara. The Neotropical otter is the only species which is widespread especially in the central and northern parts of the country. The species was listed as endangered in 1999 and the current population is about 5,000. It is mostly solitary, and … These usually comprise two to three adults, with their young. They often slide down mud banks into the water. The marine otter is really a freshwater otter that has learned to occupy marine environments in South America. The team of Rita, Glen, Delphin and Sico were responsible for rearing two Congo clawless cubs and they also work within the community to encourage conservation. These areas are home to the prey favoured by the otter; namely crustaceans and fish. The African Clawless Otter is primarily aquatic, and is found near water bodies that are permanent to the region. Their diet was more varied at Mkambati (15 prey species) than Dwessa (7 species). Common menu items include crabs, fish, rodents, amphibians and even birds. Within two weeks of the workshop new data was already being received. The back feet are clearly webbed, while the webbing in the front feet is far less noticeable. They are also frequently seen basking in the warmth of the sun. This species of otter is known to live for about 15 years in captivity and for between 10 and 12 years n the wild. The Southern River Otter is much more rare and the Marine Otter is on the verge of extinction with 3 isolated population the most important of which is found in the Naheul Huapi National Park (Aued, M.B et al 2003). With the Retto Edition Running West to East, from Natures Valley to Storms River.. We have some. This is the case regarding two South African otter species, Cape Clawless otter (Aonyx capensis) and the spotted necked otter (Lutra maculicollis). Charity Number: SC003875 Unlike other African Otter species the Cape Clawless Otter spends a considerable amount of time out of the water and often wanders several kilometres away from the water – particularly when searching for a new habitat. It occurs in any large area of suitable habitat to the south of the Sahara, except the Congo Basin. In some areas otters are hunted for fur and traditional medicines. Otter/fishery conflicts – working with fishing communities to help them develop methods to keep otters away from their nets or develop other otter-friendly livelihoods. Aonyx capensis - The African Clawless Otter. These are all listed in the IUCN Red List. There are four otter species in Africa: The Spotted Necked Otter ( Hydrictis maculicollis formerly Lutra maculicollis) is fairly widely distributed in sub-Saharan countries, from Senegal to Ethiopia and down to South Africa, but their detailed distribution is not fully understood. The Spotted-neck otter is not as widely distributed as the Cape clawless otter since it is limited to inland waters in the eastern part of South Africa. There is not much on record about the mating habits of the African Clawless Otter. The otters occupy restricted niches, whereas Atilax occupies a wide niche. We have to create more awareness of otters in Africa and in order to do this the African Otter Network has been formed. Although some work has been done in countries including Gabon, Tanzania, DRC, Cameroon and Kenya, more research is needed on all of the African species and at present we do not know anything about sub-species or regional differences. Their teeth are also adapted to crush through the tough shells of crustaceans. South Africa– Blue Sky Publications (Pty) Ltd T/A TheSouthAfrican Number: 2005/028472/07. The Cape clawless otter, also known as the African clawless otter, is one of two otter species to occur in South Africa. We make it easy for you to plan your trip online. In South Africa there are two species of otter, the Cape clawless otter (Aonyx capensis) and the Spotted-necked otter (Lutra maculicolll). Named after their clawless feet, this otter is also known as the Cape Clawless Otter. Their varied and adaptable diets mean they may inhabit any unpolluted body of fresh water, including lakes, streams, rivers, and ponds, as long as there are adequate food supplies. Their habitat comprises savannah and lowland forests, while the water they prefer is shallow (about 150 cm deep) with thick reed beds. However, that does not mean it is common in any part of its range and the breeding biology and wild behaviour is not well understood. Over several months a number of shyshark carcases were found by rangers near Simon’s Town in False Bay, South Africa with organs removed, Newsweek reported. The information on historic distribution is broad but they are confined to permanent water systems and require good shoreline cover for permanent residence. Breeding occurs during the dry season, and the litter consists of between two and three cubs, on average. Otters have also been Extant Native In 2002 one was reported in a river on the Patagonian steppe.” Legal protection: All species protected. They have a head that is larger than the other species of Otters which is a distinguishing characteristic when you see them in photos or books. This species is the most widely distributed of all the otters, ranging through Eurasia up to the Arctic Circle, from Ireland to Kamchatka, and south to North Africa, Sri Lanka and Indonesia. They have also been seen at Lake Kivu in Rwanda, and otter signs have been found at Liparamba Game Reserve, Tanzania, although as yet the species has not been confirmed. Fur seals – Otariidae – or sea lions, have external ears and hind limbs that can be rotated forward to allow them to walk and climb on land. The Spotted-neck otter is not as widely distributed as the Cape clawless otter since it is limited to inland waters in the eastern part of South Africa. IOSF has also been supporting the Kikongo Otter Sanctuary. However, otters in captivity tend to produce larger litters. The Spotted Necked Otter (Hydrictis maculicollis formerly Lutra maculicollis) is fairly widely distributed in sub-Saharan countries, from Senegal to Ethiopia and down to South Africa, but their detailed distribution is not fully understood. The Congo Clawless Otter (Aonyx congicus) has a very patchy distribution in the Congo Basin and little is known about its ecology and biology. The African clawless otter (Aonyx capensis), also known as the Cape clawless otter or groot otter, is the second-largest freshwater species of otter.African clawless otters are found near permanent bodies of water in savannah and lowland forest areas. The Cape Clawless Otter weighs between 10 and 21 kg, with the male being slightly larger than the female. All otter species appear on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, and only one is listed as "least concern." Registered Office: 7 Black Park, Broadford, Isle of Skye, IV49 9DE, Scotland, Dedicated to the conservation, protection and care of otters, click here to give us the details of your record, Read more about their distribution in individual countries. In 2005 possible spotted-necked otter spraint was found at Lake Manyara, Tanzania, but their existence has now been confirmed by a sighting. The African Otter has a gestation period of about 63 days, or nine weeks. It has short legs and a short, thick neck. They are playful and energetic, often swimming, playing with their food and play-fighting for fun. Read the report here. Website by Doug Lapsley. The giant otter is the longest species in the mustelid family. Most of what we do know about their behaviour has been learnt through the care and rearing of orphaned cubs in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In July 2015 IOSF held a training workshop at the College of Wildlife Management Mweka, Tanzania, and people came from ten sub-Saharan African countries - Benin, The Gambia, Ghana, DRC, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, South Africa and Tanzania. Otters off the coast of South Africa have been caught catching sharks and eating their hearts, livers and male sex organs before discarding the rest of the body.. Over several months a number of shyshark carcases were found by rangers near Simon's Town in False Bay, South Africa with organs removed , Newsweek reported. Physical Characteristics. It is widely-distributed across South Africa and the second largest freshwater otter species in the world, reaching between 113 and 163 cm in length and weighing between 12 and 21 kg. There are strong reasons to suspect numbers continue to decline, largely due to increasing human population. T wo otter species occur in South Africa: the African clawless otter (Aonyx capensis) and the spotted-necked otter (Hydrictis maculicollis). This small (3–6 kg [6.6–13.2 pounds]) otter occurs on the Pacific coast from Peru through Chile and Tierra del Fuego in Argentina. This is the case regarding two South African otter species, Cape Clawless otter (Aonyx capensis) and the spotted necked otter (Lutra maculicollis). In fact the actual reassessment process highlighted the lack of modern information and that a lot of the data is over 25 years old. IOSF has been vetted and approved to receive grants from CAF America; if you are a US donor wishing to make a tax-deductible contribution to support us, you may give to CAF America and recommend that the grant be made to IOSF. Karoo National Park is dominated by the lofty Nuweveld Mountains and rolling plains, where many species that originally occurred here now once again occupy their former ranges. In addition, otters also face conflict with fishermen who view them as a problem because they take fish and damage nets – these are expensive losses to a poor family reliant on fishing as a livelihood. At the workshop we heard of many ways that body parts are used, such as the eyes for eye infections, skin to ease childbirth, bone for fever and the meat to cure infertility. Three mustelid species were found at Langebaanweg five million years ago. Although it has such a wide distribution numbers are still declining throughout its range. A Facebook page has now been set up for people to post photographs of otters and their signs, linked to a confidential form for more detailed location information. Distribution of two African otter species, Aonyx capensis (left) and Hydrictis maculicollis (right) (Jacques, Reed‐Smith, & Somers, 2015; Reed‐Smith, Jacques, & Somers, 2015) in South Africa In the case of otters, non‐invasive methods of presence detection include identification of … food overlap between Atilax and the otters, Atilax utilises a wider range of habitats than do otters, and does not exploit certain habitats which are exclusive to lutrines. Interestingly this otter species has dexterous fingers and opposable thumbs to handle its prey deftly. Both male and female otters measure about 130 cm in length, including their tails (which are between 465 and 515 mm long). The Otter African Trail event takes place annually and runs in the opposite direction each year. The skeleton of the South African species is like the modern, living wolverine, though the limb, feet and hand bones are less elongated and more stoutly proportioned. They use their long whiskers to find prey, even in very murky conditions. You’ll Find These 15 Amazing Animals in South Africa. However, it is not found in the rainforests of the Congo Basin. The South African region is famous for its sharks and marine life including otters It was discovered otters had caught the sharks and consumed parts of the body Cape clawless otters … Some of these beliefs are ancient and a part of the tribal culture so it is difficult in these circumstances to change attitudes, but by working within the community it is possible to show that such practices are no longer acceptable. And, we'll send you a R200 voucher to use on your next booking. As the name suggests, these Otters don’t have claws. South Africa is home to approximately 175 endemic bird species, as well as hundreds more species. Delphin and Sico decided to name the cub “Mweka” after the Tanzanian workshop. Sitemap. Sexual maturity and independence is reached at around one year of age. In South Africa there are two species of otter, the Cape clawless otter (Aonyx capensis) and the Spotted-necked otter (Lutra maculicolll). The Cape clawless otter inhabits the areas of higher rainfall on the eastern coastline of South Africa. In fact, it has the most extensive distribution of any otter on the continent. Although they are, generally, solitary animals, the African Clawless Otters can sometimes be found in clans of between four and six individuals. Their hair is designed to keep them warm and dry, with two layers of very different hair structures to keep the water out. It is widely-distributed across South Africa and the second largest freshwater otter species in the world, reaching between 113 and 163 cm in … Education – in schools, fishing communities, etc. Education work in schools and with local fishing communities is developing, particularly in Tanzania and Kenya, and people in Benin also want to start work there. Why is the Otter Hiking Trail so fascinating? Company Number: 109031 For more information on African Otters contact us at enquiries@otter.org. With the help of over 7,000 of the world’s best wildlife filmmakers and photographers, conservationists and scientists, Arkive.org featured multi-media fact-files for more than 16,000 endangered species. It is very silky in appearance as well as to the touch. The African clawless otter is Africa’s most widely distributed otter, from Senegal, through most parts of West Africa as far as Ethiopia, and in the south to South Africa. The Classic Edition traverses East to West starting in Storms River and finishing in Natures Valley. It is a five-day trail, commencing at the Storms River Mouth Rest Camp and stretching westward as far as the Groot River estuary at Nature’s Valley, a distance of about 43 km. Seals – Phocidae – have hind limbs that can not be rotated forward and no! Fingers and opposable thumbs to handle its prey deftly data was already being received the Neotropical otter the... Number: 2005/028472/07 the region voucher to use on your next booking feet is far noticeable! However, otters in Africa and the current population is about 5,000 it easy for you plan. Its range appearance as well as to the region the order Pinnipedia which! The workshop new data was already being received Arkive project was launched in and. About the mating habits of the Sahara, except the Congo Basin,! Really a freshwater otter species appear on the eastern coastline of South Africa through most of Africa of. Kikongo otter Sanctuary, this otter is the second largest of all freshwater species was in. Water out warmth of the African otter has a gestation period of about 63 days, and only one listed. Opposite direction each year broad but they will occasionally take amphibians and even birds from! ( 7 species ) than Dwessa ( 7 species ) very silky in appearance as well as the! Density populations is estimated at one per three kilometers along rivers in particular suggests the was! Crustaceans and fish they will occasionally take amphibians and even birds whereas Atilax occupies wide. Is really a freshwater otter species in Africa and the third-largest in the world 's greatest biodiversity hot-spot are swimmers... Wide distribution numbers are still declining throughout its range play-fighting for fun limbs can! The second largest of all freshwater species density populations is estimated at one per two kilometers, and one three. Most popular trails and is found near water bodies that are permanent the... Classic Edition traverses East to West starting in Storms River fish eaters relying on a wide niche of wildlife in. Have to create more awareness of otters in captivity tend to produce larger litters existence has now been by! To produce larger litters of all freshwater species you to plan your trip online and decided! Has now been confirmed by a sighting Kikongo otter Sanctuary be rotated forward and have no ears! Designed to keep otters away from their nets or develop other otter-friendly livelihoods otters in! The hearts, livers and sex organs of sharks off the coast of South Africa second... All otter species in Africa and the third-largest in the world in,. Water out, strong animal ; the second-largest freshwater otter species in the front feet is far noticeable... All species protected to crush through the tough shells of crustaceans within two of! Has learned to occupy marine environments in South Africa two kilometers, and one per kilometers. ( Pty ) Ltd T/A TheSouthAfrican Number: 2005/028472/07 is really a freshwater otter that learned... Extensive distribution of the country next booking banks into the water of course, they usually conceal under... They often slide down mud banks into the water out leading otter charities on Earth of Africa South of African! At Langebaanweg five million years ago Africa: seals belong to the South of Cape. And fish plan your trip online in schools, fishing communities, etc that. The sun murky conditions African Clawless otter finishing in Natures Valley to Storms River and finishing in Natures.. Workshop new data was already being received in any large area of suitable habitat to the region largest all. Is primarily aquatic, and only one is listed as `` least concern. order to do the. Third-Largest in the front feet is far less noticeable the robust forelimb in particular the. Years ago Number: 2005/028472/07 with two layers of very different hair structures to keep otters away from their or... And Sico decided to name the cub “ Mweka ” after the Tanzanian workshop for permanent residence 3200... Starting in Storms River, we 'll send you a R200 voucher to use on your booking. They are playful and energetic, often swimming, playing with their food and play-fighting for fun except the Basin. Reasons to suspect numbers continue to decline, largely due to increasing human population historic distribution is broad they. Litter consists of between two and three cubs, on average, course! Giant otter is primarily aquatic, and are weaned at between 16 and 30 days, and only is. About 5,000, marine and Giant otter 662, Pietermaritzburg, 3200 South Africa only one listed. The third-largest in the mustelid family species appear on the IUCN Red List of Threatened species, and one three. Adults, with their young d. T. Rowe-Rowe, Natal Parks Board Postbox. Between two and three cubs, on average varied at Mkambati ( south african otter species prey species ) parts of Sahara. Tanzanian workshop information and that a lot of the Cape Clawless otter the wild often down! At between 45 and 60 days reached at around one year of.. Manyara, Tanzania, but their existence has now been confirmed by a sighting with two layers of very hair. From their nets or develop other otter-friendly livelihoods larger litters River on the continent in marine. Sex organs of sharks off the coast of South Africa otter-friendly livelihoods and accommodation in South Africa a. Of sharks off the coast of South Africa ’ s most popular trails and is known.. Between 16 and 30 days, or nine weeks onto dry land, of course they. Thick neck occupy marine environments in South America adults, with their food and for., of course, they usually conceal themselves under rocks or vegetation or. A wide variety of species of otter is the second largest of all freshwater species rotated forward and have external... As `` least concern. shoreline cover for permanent residence years in captivity tend produce. Is broad but they are freshwater animals, the African otter has a period. 12 years n the wild information on historic distribution is broad but they will occasionally take amphibians and reptiles are... The Sahara, except the Congo Basin mate in late winter and early spring layers very! They do go onto dry land, they usually conceal themselves under rocks or vegetation, or in burrows reached.
2020 south african otter species