We have to create more awareness of otters in Africa and in order to do this the African Otter Network has been formed. As the name suggests, these Otters don’t have claws. 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 Cape clawless otter, also known as the African clawless otter, is one of two otter species to occur in South Africa. 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. The coastal density populations is estimated at one per two kilometers, and one per three kilometers along rivers. 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). Its feet are webbed to enable the best swimming conditions. 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. These usually comprise two to three adults, with their young. They are also frequently seen basking in the warmth of the sun. The list of marine molluscs of South Africa is a list of saltwater species that form a part of the molluscan fauna of South Africa.This list does not include the land or freshwater molluscs. 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. Alison Kock, a marine biologist at South African National Parks, studied the remains of the shyshark carcass and said otters … South Africa is home to approximately 175 endemic bird species, as well as hundreds more species. 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 … Delphin and Sico decided to name the cub “Mweka” after the Tanzanian workshop. Charity Number: SC003875 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. 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. The natural distribution of the Cape Clawless Otter ranges through most of Africa south of the Sahara. Although they are freshwater animals, the African Clawless Otter may live in a marine environment if there is fresh drinking water nearby. Sitemap. 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). 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. T wo otter species occur in South Africa: the African clawless otter (Aonyx capensis) and the spotted-necked otter (Hydrictis maculicollis). These otters are largely fish eaters relying on a wide variety of species but they will occasionally take amphibians and reptiles. The robust forelimb in particular suggests the animal was an ambush predator which would surprise and subdue its … Cape Clawless Otters are very playful and agile, and are excellent swimmers. 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. otter species in Africa (Somers & Nel 2013). This species of otter is known to live for about 15 years in captivity and for between 10 and 12 years n the wild. Three mustelid species were found at Langebaanweg five million years ago. 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 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). It is an uncommon animal, and entirely absent from the drier and arid regions of the country. Kogelberg Nature Reserve - world's greatest biodiversity hot-spot? Their diet was more varied at Mkambati (15 prey species) than Dwessa (7 species). 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. 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 The seals of South Africa : Seals belong to the order Pinnipedia of which there are 33 species worldwide. In fact, it has the most extensive distribution of any otter on the continent. Its feet are webbed to enable the best swimming conditions. The Otter African Trail event takes place annually and runs in the opposite direction each year. These areas are home to the prey favoured by the otter; namely crustaceans and fish. 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. It is very silky in appearance as well as to the touch. They use their long whiskers to find prey, even in very murky conditions. On land, of course, they are more vulnerable to predators. 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. Their teeth are also adapted to crush through the tough shells of crustaceans. We have some. These are all listed in the IUCN Red List. 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. Sexual maturity and independence is reached at around one year of age. The AFRICAN OTTERS group now intends to focus on: You can support this work by donating at www.ottershop.co.uk – please put “AFRICAN OTTERS” in the message box. 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. Interestingly this otter species has dexterous fingers and opposable thumbs to handle its prey deftly. The Neotropical otter is the only species which is widespread especially in the central and northern parts of the country. Why is the Otter Hiking Trail so fascinating? It has short legs and a short, thick neck. The following is a small sample of thousands of species of wildlife found in South Africa. 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 Classic Edition traverses East to West starting in Storms River and finishing in Natures Valley. 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. 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. Physical Characteristics. 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. 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. 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. In 2002 one was reported in a river on the Patagonian steppe.” Legal protection: All species protected. Find and book hotels and accommodation in South Africa. Subscribe for the latest special offers and travel inspiration. Their habitat comprises savannah and lowland forests, while the water they prefer is shallow (about 150 cm deep) with thick reed beds. The Eurasian Otter (Lutra lutra) has the widest distribution, being found throughout Europe and Asia, but in Africa it is only found in the north. Cubs leave the den at between 16 and 30 days, and are weaned at between 45 and 60 days. Both male and female otters measure about 130 cm in length, including their tails (which are between 465 and 515 mm long). There is even a belief that the skin can deflect bullets! The back feet are clearly webbed, while the webbing in the front feet is far less noticeable. All Rights Reserved. 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. The giant otter is the longest species in the mustelid family. However, otters in captivity tend to produce larger litters. In 2005 possible spotted-necked otter spraint was found at Lake Manyara, Tanzania, but their existence has now been confirmed by a sighting. Company Number: 109031 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. Wildscreen's Arkive project was launched in 2003 and grew to become the world's biggest encyclopaedia of life on Earth. 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. D. T. Rowe-Rowe, Natal Parks Board, Postbox 662, Pietermaritzburg, 3200 South Africa. 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. 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 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. Website by Doug Lapsley. Read the report here. 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. And, we'll send you a R200 voucher to use on your next booking. It is a robust, strong animal; the second-largest freshwater otter species in Africa and the third-largest in the world. Threats: habitat d… 2020 © All Rights Reserved. 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. Apart from human threats, the only predators with which this otter needs to battle within their aquatic environment are Nile Crocodiles and Fish Eagles. 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. 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. Travelling to South Africa? There are many global issues which are affecting our wildlife today - habitat loss, pollution, climate change and all the problems associated with poverty. These fall into two categories. Although it has such a wide distribution numbers are still declining throughout its range. 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. 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. Shortly after the workshop they received another cub. 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. 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. The information on historic distribution is broad but they are confined to permanent water systems and require good shoreline cover for permanent residence. They form these groups for foraging purposes. In some areas otters are hunted for fur and traditional medicines. 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. 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". 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). More information on the African Otter Network. There is not much on record about the mating habits of the African Clawless Otter. When they do go onto dry land, they usually conceal themselves under rocks or vegetation, or in burrows. They are playful and energetic, often swimming, playing with their food and play-fighting for fun. The Cape Clawless Otter weighs between 10 and 21 kg, with the male being slightly larger than the female. In fact the actual reassessment process highlighted the lack of modern information and that a lot of the data is over 25 years old. More information on the African Otter Network. The otters occupy restricted niches, whereas Atilax occupies a wide niche. For more information on African Otters contact us at enquiries@otter.org. Common menu items include crabs, fish, rodents, amphibians and even birds. 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. 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. Learn 15 more facts about these fascinating mammals. They are well known for the luxurious hair that they have. The Congo Clawless Otter (Aonyx congicus) has a very patchy distribution in the Congo Basin and little is known about its ecology and biology. Although they are, generally, solitary animals, the African Clawless Otters can sometimes be found in clans of between four and six individuals. The African Clawless Otter is the second largest of all freshwater species. In South Africa there are two species of otter, the Cape clawless otter (Aonyx capensis) and the Spotted-necked otter (Lutra maculicolll). 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. This is the case regarding two South African otter species, Cape Clawless otter (Aonyx capensis) and the spotted necked otter (Lutra maculicollis). It occurs in any large area of suitable habitat to the south of the Sahara, except the Congo Basin. We make it easy for you to plan your trip online. 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. It is mostly solitary, and … In South Africa there are two species of otter, the Cape clawless otter (Aonyx capensis) and the Spotted-necked otter (Lutra maculicolll). They communicate by means of a series of complex whistles, moans, mews and grunts as well as through the scent created by their anal glands. 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