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About Otters

Our Otter Cam

Why are Otters so important?

Otter Images and Videos

Otter Species

Otters Around the World

Skye Wildlife Sightings

The Mustelid Family

Otter Watch

African Otters

Asian Otters

Otter-like animals have inhabited the earth for the last 30 million years and over the years have undergone subtle changes to the carnivore bodies to exploit the rich aquatic environment.

Otters are members of the Mustelid family which includes badgers, polecats, martens, weasels, stoats and mink.

You can find out more about each of the 13 species below and check out their current conservation status in the Red Data List.

You can find out more about each species in “Otters of the World” available at the Ottershop.

World of Otters

Our interactive map of otter locations around the world.

Spotted Necked Otter (Hydrictis maculicollis)

SIZE 0.95 to 1.1 m
WEIGHT About 9kg
DIET Fish, amphibians, and crustaceans
CITES Appendix II
THE THREAT TO THE SPECIES: Nylon fishing nets causing the otter to become entangled and drown.

Spotted Necked otter
Photo: Jan Reed-Smith

The Spotted Necked Otter is smaller and darker than the African Clawless Otter and has a pale neck with spots.  It is a diurnal otter and likes deep water habitats like lakes, where they dive for fish and amphibians.

It is a social animal and forms distinctive male and female groups.  Occurs only in Africa in all countries south of the Sahara and is absent only from the desert areas.

Distribution of the Spotted Necked Otter (Hydrictis maculicollis)

Data based on Otters of the World (IOSF 2017) which is available at the Otter shop.


More information on the African Otters Group

Eurasian Otter (Lutra lutra)
African Clawless Otter (Aonyx capensis)
Congo Clawless Otter (Aonyx congicus)