Biodiversity catalog

Giant Otter
Pteronura brasiliensis
Giant Otter

Species IUCN Status

Endangered

Projects (Locations)

Found in a variety of fresh water habitats including rivers, streams, swamps and ponds, the giant otter is endemic to the rainforests of South America, although it has also been found as far north as Panama. The longest member of the weasel family (mustelidae), it can grow up to almost two meters (6.5 feet) in length. A gregarious creature, the giant otter can typically be found in families which have between 5 and 8 individuals. Primary threats to the giant otter include habitat fragmentation, pollution from agricultural runoff, as well as illegal hunting. It is from this habitat loss as well as population declines which have resulted in the giant otter being listed as endangered by the IUCN Red List.