Many of the different species of Otters have been heavily hunted in the past. As a result the
numbers of them are quite low. This is why conservation efforts are in place to help them continue to
survive. The main reason that these Otters were hunted though was for their fur. Today the fur trade isn’t
the money maker that it once was though so that has helped reduced the number of them being killed as well.
Pollution and global warming are huge threats to the Otters. By being aware of his and not
contributing to such problems you will help them to have a better home to live in. Don’t buy anything that is
made from the pelts or fur of Otters either. If there are no buyers for such products then people won’t be
killing them to make money from these parts of their bodies.
Otters also face problems with limited food supplies in some areas. Due to commercial fishing
they may find that some of the types of fish they live on are in very low supply. They can also become
tangled up in fishing nets and drown. Exposure to disease and parasites in the water and from food sources is
also a primary concern.
In some parts of the world the Otter is protected so it is illegal to injure or kill them.
However, such problems still continue because those laws often aren’t strictly enforced. There is one species
of Otter on the low risk list which is the Oriental Small Clawed Otter. Several of the species though are
listed as vulnerable and endangered. They include the Southern River Otter, Hairy Nosed Otter, Giant Otter,
and the India Smooth Coated Otter.
In the United States
Otters are protected under the Endangered Species Act. This is due to the fact that the conditions they live
under could be compromised easily and that could lead to a significant reduction in their numbers in very little
time. Their fur has to be kept clean so when the water is polluted with chemicals or oils it can kill them. They
won’t be able to maintain the body temperature necessary for survival.
Large numbers of them have
died too over the years due to outbreaks of viruses or bacteria in some bodies of water. Some of them are
created by natural events but most of them are the result of carelessness by humans about what is entered into
the water. For example oil spills that have occurred have destroyed habitats and killed large numbers of Otters.
This is due to their fur not being able to offer them warmth due to the oil.
One of the biggest
conservation efforts out there involves removing Otters from the locations of oil spills. It can take a long
time to clean up their environment though from the dangers. Without the thousands of volunteers that have
assisted with such efforts these Otters would have died as well.
You can do your part to
help protect Otters that are endangered. Conservation efforts include getting the right information out there
about Otters and their needs. Finding groups online that you can join the efforts of is very simple. It can also
make you feel good about doing your part for these animals. In some areas there are studies for re-introducing
Otters again to places that they once called home. So far these types of efforts have been successful but only
time will tell if that is true for the long term as well.