Mammalian Biology

, Volume 77, Issue 2, pp 75–83 | Cite as

The marine otter Lontra felina (Molina, 1782): A review of its present status and implications for future conservation

  • Juan ValquiEmail author


The marine otter Lontra felina is an endangered and little known species living in a fragmented habitat: the coast of Peru and Chile. The smallest marine mammal’s presence is unclear in Argentina and southern Tierra del Fuego and the current limits of the distribution are still under discussion. Recent population genetic studies suggest certain levels of gene flow despite a disjunct population. In the 20th century intensive hunting was the major threat to L. felina. This top predator still faces an uncertain future due to the impactof human activities (urbanization, pollution, and intensive fisheries). There is a need of further studies deepening the knowledge on population genetics, population numbers and migration behavior. Environmental education work, law enforcement and monitoring of protected areas are suggested to secure the survival of the species.


Lontra felina Marine otter Southeast Pacific Threats Conservation 


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© Deutsche Gesellschaft für Säugetierkunde 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centro de Ornitología y Biodiversidad (CORBIDI)Lima 33Peru
  2. 2.Zoological InstituteChristian-Albrechts-UniversityKielGermany

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