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Otter at risk of extinction

Otter at risk of extinction


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Otter, at risk of extinction, in Italy as in other parts of the world. So let's hurry up to read more, and to do something, with the many projects underway. Get used to imagining him happy and smiling, on TV or in a plush version, we did not realize that this animal is in danger. And we humans have also put a hand in making life difficult for him.

Otter: characteristics

The large family, which includes all the varieties of Otters, is that of Lutrini, they are carnivores in turn belonging to Mustelids. There are 13 species of otters divided into 6 genera, in general they are found on almost all continents, in a theoretical sense, because on a practical level, the otter is at risk of extinction, so we could see it disappear from the globe.

One of its best known features is its own dense fur, very thick, which protects it from water and is able to trap air bubbles, isolating it from the cold. It is not enough, however, because when temperatures drop significantly in certain areas, the otters are saved thanks to their very high metabolic rate. This means that this animal burns a lot of calories for warm up quickly.

The body of the otter is sinuous and slender but the legs are certainly not slender, they are often equipped with sharp claws, very useful for grabbing prey such as fish, but not only. Sure the fish it is the basis of the otter menu but they also appear frogs, lobsters and crabs, more rarely and only for some species, some mammals and a few birds. The hours that every good otter with appetite dedicates to hunting are on average 3 or 4.

Otter: the risk of extinction

The fact that the otter being at risk is a horrible sign both for the animal itself and because it means that the health of streams and lakes where he lives is very bad. Even the selfish, therefore, should be concerned as we are all inhabitants of the same earth.

The greatest threats to this animal, and not only for this, are the continuous deterioration of the state of the river environments, increasingly polluted due to an invasive presence of man. A striking example concerns the cultivation of tea and coffee that destroy mangrove forests, forests that represent the hunting reserve of otters, in fact they go in search of fish, frogs, crabs, shrimps and seafood.

Another aspect ofpollution is what comes from the use of pesticides which obviously poison rivers and aquifers. If I talked about mangrove forests and coffee crops, we don't think that in Italy there are no reasons to worry, quite the contrary. Data in hand, disclosed by the University of Trieste, if European otters are very threatening, the Italian ones are condemned to disappear shortly if nothing changes. There are about 200, no more, and they can get fewer every day if we don't stop devastate their habitat.

Sea otter

Greedy crustaceans that often hunt "arming themselves" with rocks, the sea ​​otters they measure from one to two meters in length for a total of about 30 kg, they have to eat to stay healthy, 20% of their body weight, every day.

Also called Enhydra lutris, this otter inhabits the Pacific coast of North America, in particular in the stretch near the Bering Strait, but we also find it in Japan. This species sports very nice fur, sadly, because that's one of the reasons why it is often hunted.

Giant otter

Let's verify that it is giant: this otter is 150-180cm long, tail excluded which in turn measures from 50 to 70 centimeters, its weight is about 32 Kg. It is decidedly large and prefers to live in small groups by attending terrestrial environments.

Since 1973 this species has earned the status of protected animal and it is forbidden to kill it in the areas where it is still found: in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela. There are still some specimens in Argentina, kept in the Iguazu National Park.

Domestic otter

Not in the case of the giant, but the otter can also be domestic by being a intelligent and tameable animal. She does not like large groups but in a family she can find herself well and even learn to respond if we call her.

Certainly not in words, but with a kind of grunt and, when feeling romantic, with whistles prolonged whistling or sounds that sound like thunderous laughter. The domestic otter is sociable and naughty, but she still has the habit of playing in the mud, so it is not for hygienists.

Otter: where can it still be found in Italy

As I have already said but I stress with concern, in Italy it is very difficult to come across an otter, it is now a rare animal. It survives in some areas which are then those protected by national parks, by the Pollino National Park, for example, or by the Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park. In central Italy a few examples remained in Maiella National Park, in Abruzzo, while the only area in the North that can boast its presence is South Tyrol.

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Video: Saving The Endangered Giant Otter. Countryfile Extra (June 2022).