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Otter Population by Country 2024

Otters include any member of the subfamily Lutrinae of carnivorous mammals, which contains 13 extant species. They belong to the Mustelidae family, which includes badgers, mink, weasels and wolverines. Otters are found throughout the world, although their exact distribution varies by species.

Sea Otter (Enhydra lutris)

The Sea Otter is the only completely marine otter, which dives to catch its prey. Its diet consists primarily of shellfish such as abalone, clams and crabs, although it will also eat starfish and many other animals. The current distribution of the sea otter is as follows:

  • Alaska: 100,000 – 150,000
  • Russia: 18,000 – 20,000
  • British Columbia, Canada: 8,000
  • Southern USA: 2,400

Their natural habitat is arc around the northern Pacific Ocean, including Japan, the Russian Kamchatka peninsula, Alaska, the Baja California peninsula and Mexico. Their total population was once as high as 300,000, but they rendered nearly extinct in the 19th century due to their highly-prized fur. Conservation efforts since then have largely restored their population, although they’re now primarily restricted to Alaska.

Giant Otter (Pteronura brasiliensis)

The giant otter is the largest species of otter, reaching a length of close to six feet. They once populated the entire Amazon rainforest and as far south as the Pantanal wetlands in Brazil. However, hunting for their fur combined with habitat loss has restricted their habitat to the most remote areas of the Amazon. Current estimates of their population place the total number of giant otters in the wild at between 2,000 and 5,000, mostly in Brazil. Surrounding countries like Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela also contain isolated populations of giant otters.

Eurasian Otter (Lutra lutra)

The Eurasian otter is also known by other names like the common otter, European otter, Eurasian river otter, European river otter and Old World otter. It’s primarily found in Europe, but isolated populations also exist in certain parts of Asia and northern Africa. This species’ conservation status is currently classified as Near Threatened (NT), but its population is declining. The Eurasian otter is the most widely distributed otter, although its overall population hasn’t been well studied. The country with the largest number of these otters is probably Belarus, with an estimated population 12,000 as of 2004. The United Kingdom had about 10,000, and other countries like Sweden are believed to have no more than 1,000 Eurasian otters in the wild.

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Country
Native Otter Species
Possibly Extinct
AfghanistanEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
AlbaniaEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
AlgeriaEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
AndorraEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
AngolaAfrican Clawless Otter (Aonyx capensis) | Congo Clawless Otter (Aonyx congicus) | Spotted-necked Otter (Hydrictis maculicollis)
ArgentinaMarine Otter (Lontra felina) | Neotropical Otter (Lontra longicaudis) | Southern River Otter (Lontra provocax)Giant Otter (Pteronura brasiliensis)
ArmeniaEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
AustraliaEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
AzerbaijanEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
BangladeshAsian Small-clawed Otter (Aonyx cinereus) | Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) | Smooth-coated otter (Lutrogale perspicillata)
BelarusEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
BelgiumEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
BelizeNeotropical Otter (Lontra longicaudis)
BeninAfrican Clawless Otter (Aonyx capensis) | Spotted-necked Otter (Hydrictis maculicollis)
BhutanAsian Small-clawed Otter (Aonyx cinereus) | Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) | Smooth-coated otter (Lutrogale perspicillata)
BoliviaGiant Otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) | Neotropical Otter (Lontra longicaudis)
Bosnia and HerzegovinaEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
BotswanaAfrican Clawless Otter (Aonyx capensis) | Spotted-necked Otter (Hydrictis maculicollis)
BrazilGiant Otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) | Neotropical Otter (Lontra longicaudis)
BruneiAsian Small-clawed Otter (Aonyx cinereus) | Smooth-coated otter (Lutrogale perspicillata)
BulgariaEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
Burkina FasoAfrican Clawless Otter (Aonyx capensis) | Spotted-necked Otter (Hydrictis maculicollis)
BurundiSpotted-necked Otter (Hydrictis maculicollis)
CambodiaAsian Small-clawed Otter (Aonyx cinereus) | Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) | Hairy-nosed Otter (Lutra sumatrana) | Smooth-coated otter (Lutrogale perspicillata)
CameroonAfrican Clawless Otter (Aonyx capensis) | Spotted-necked Otter (Hydrictis maculicollis)
CanadaNorth American River Otter (Lontra canadensis) | Sea Otter (Enhydra lutris)
Central African RepublicCongo Clawless Otter (Aonyx congicus) | Spotted-necked Otter (Hydrictis maculicollis)
ChadAfrican Clawless Otter (Aonyx capensis) | Spotted-necked Otter (Hydrictis maculicollis)
ChileMarine Otter (Lontra felina) | Southern River Otter (Lontra provocax)
ChinaAsian Small-clawed Otter (Aonyx cinereus) | Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra)Smooth-coated otter (Lutrogale perspicillata)
ColombiaGiant Otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) | Neotropical Otter (Lontra longicaudis)
Costa RicaNeotropical Otter (Lontra longicaudis)
CroatiaEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
Czech RepublicEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
DenmarkEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
DR CongoCongo Clawless Otter (Aonyx congicus) | Spotted-necked Otter (Hydrictis maculicollis)
EcuadorGiant Otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) | Neotropical Otter (Lontra longicaudis)
El SalvadorNeotropical Otter (Lontra longicaudis)
Equatorial GuineaCongo Clawless Otter (Aonyx congicus) | Spotted-necked Otter (Hydrictis maculicollis)
EritreaAfrican Clawless Otter (Aonyx capensis) | Spotted-necked Otter (Hydrictis maculicollis)
EstoniaEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
EswatiniAfrican Clawless Otter (Aonyx capensis)
EthiopiaAfrican Clawless Otter (Aonyx capensis) | Spotted-necked Otter (Hydrictis maculicollis)
FinlandEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
FranceEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
French GuianaGiant Otter (Pteronura brasiliensis)
GabonCongo Clawless Otter (Aonyx congicus)
GambiaAfrican Clawless Otter (Aonyx capensis) | Spotted-necked Otter (Hydrictis maculicollis)
GeorgiaEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
GermanyEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
GhanaAfrican Clawless Otter (Aonyx capensis)Spotted-necked Otter (Hydrictis maculicollis)
GibraltarEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
GreeceEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
GuatemalaNeotropical Otter (Lontra longicaudis)
GuineaAfrican Clawless Otter (Aonyx capensis) | Spotted-necked Otter (Hydrictis maculicollis)
Guinea BissauAfrican Clawless Otter (Aonyx capensis) | Spotted-necked Otter (Hydrictis maculicollis)
GuyanaGiant Otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) | Neotropical Otter (Lontra longicaudis)
HondurasNeotropical Otter (Lontra longicaudis)
Hong KongEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
HungaryEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
IndiaAsian Small-clawed Otter (Aonyx cinereus) | Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) | Smooth-coated otter (Lutrogale perspicillata)
IndonesiaAsian Small-clawed Otter (Aonyx cinereus) | Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) | Hairy-nosed Otter (Lutra sumatrana) | Smooth-coated otter (Lutrogale perspicillata)
IranEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
IraqEurasian otter (Lutra lutra) | Smooth-coated otter (Lutrogale perspicillata)
IrelandEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
IsraelEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
ItalyEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
Ivory CoastAfrican Clawless Otter (Aonyx capensis) | Spotted-necked Otter (Hydrictis maculicollis)
JapanEurasian otter (Lutra lutra) | Sea Otter (Enhydra lutris)
JordanEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
KazakhstanEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
KenyaAfrican Clawless Otter (Aonyx capensis) | Spotted-necked Otter (Hydrictis maculicollis)
KyrgyzstanEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
LaosAsian Small-clawed Otter (Aonyx cinereus) | Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) | Smooth-coated otter (Lutrogale perspicillata)
LatviaEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
LebanonEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
LesothoAfrican Clawless Otter (Aonyx capensis)Spotted-necked Otter (Hydrictis maculicollis)
LiberiaAfrican Clawless Otter (Aonyx capensis)
LibyaSpotted-necked Otter (Hydrictis maculicollis)
LiechtensteinEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
LithuaniaEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
LuxembourgEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
MalawiAfrican Clawless Otter (Aonyx capensis) | Spotted-necked Otter (Hydrictis maculicollis)
MalaysiaAsian Small-clawed Otter (Aonyx cinereus) | Hairy-nosed Otter (Lutra sumatrana) | Smooth-coated otter (Lutrogale perspicillata)
MaliSpotted-necked Otter (Hydrictis maculicollis)
MexicoNeotropical Otter (Lontra longicaudis) | Sea Otter (Enhydra lutris)
MoldovaEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
MongoliaEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
MontenegroEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
MoroccoEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
MozambiqueAfrican Clawless Otter (Aonyx capensis) | Spotted-necked Otter (Hydrictis maculicollis)
MyanmarAsian Small-clawed Otter (Aonyx cinereus) | Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) | Hairy-nosed Otter (Lutra sumatrana) | Smooth-coated otter (Lutrogale perspicillata)
NamibiaAfrican Clawless Otter (Aonyx capensis) | Spotted-necked Otter (Hydrictis maculicollis)
NepalAsian Small-clawed Otter (Aonyx cinereus) | Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) | Smooth-coated otter (Lutrogale perspicillata)
NicaraguaNeotropical Otter (Lontra longicaudis)
NigerAfrican Clawless Otter (Aonyx capensis) | Spotted-necked Otter (Hydrictis maculicollis)
NigeriaCongo Clawless Otter (Aonyx congicus) | Spotted-necked Otter (Hydrictis maculicollis)
North MacedoniaEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
NorwayEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
PakistanEurasian otter (Lutra lutra) | Smooth-coated otter (Lutrogale perspicillata)
PalestineEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
PanamaNeotropical Otter (Lontra longicaudis)
ParaguayGiant Otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) | Neotropical Otter (Lontra longicaudis)
PeruGiant Otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) | Marine Otter (Lontra felina) | Neotropical Otter (Lontra longicaudis)
PhilippinesAsian Small-clawed Otter (Aonyx cinereus)
PolandEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
PortugalEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
Republic of the CongoAfrican Clawless Otter (Aonyx capensis) | Congo Clawless Otter (Aonyx congicus) | Spotted-necked Otter (Hydrictis maculicollis)
RomaniaEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
RussiaEurasian otter (Lutra lutra) | Sea Otter (Enhydra lutris)
RwandaAfrican Clawless Otter (Aonyx capensis) | Congo Clawless Otter (Aonyx congicus) | Spotted-necked Otter (Hydrictis maculicollis)
San MarinoEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
SenegalAfrican Clawless Otter (Aonyx capensis)
SerbiaEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
Sierra LeoneAfrican Clawless Otter (Aonyx capensis) | Spotted-necked Otter (Hydrictis maculicollis)
SingaporeAsian Small-clawed Otter (Aonyx cinereus) | Smooth-coated otter (Lutrogale perspicillata)
SlovakiaEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
SloveniaEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
South AfricaAfrican Clawless Otter (Aonyx capensis) | Spotted-necked Otter (Hydrictis maculicollis)
SpainEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
Sri LankaEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
SudanAfrican Clawless Otter (Aonyx capensis) | Spotted-necked Otter (Hydrictis maculicollis)
SurinameGiant Otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) | Neotropical Otter (Lontra longicaudis)
SwedenEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
SwitzerlandEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
SyriaEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
TaiwanAsian Small-clawed Otter (Aonyx cinereus) | Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
TajikistanEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
TanzaniaAfrican Clawless Otter (Aonyx capensis) | Spotted-necked Otter (Hydrictis maculicollis)
ThailandAsian Small-clawed Otter (Aonyx cinereus) | Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) | Hairy-nosed Otter (Lutra sumatrana) | Smooth-coated otter (Lutrogale perspicillata)
TogoSpotted-necked Otter (Hydrictis maculicollis)
TunisiaEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
TurkeyEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
TurkmenistanEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
UgandaAfrican Clawless Otter (Aonyx capensis) | Spotted-necked Otter (Hydrictis maculicollis)
UkraineEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
United KingdomEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
United StatesNorth American River Otter (Lontra canadensis) | Sea Otter (Enhydra lutris)
UruguayNeotropical Otter (Lontra longicaudis)Giant Otter (Pteronura brasiliensis)
UzbekistanEurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
VenezuelaGiant Otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) | Neotropical Otter (Lontra longicaudis)
VietnamAsian Small-clawed Otter (Aonyx cinereus) | Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) | Hairy-nosed Otter (Lutra sumatrana) | Smooth-coated otter (Lutrogale perspicillata)
ZambiaAfrican Clawless Otter (Aonyx capensis) | Spotted-necked Otter (Hydrictis maculicollis)
ZimbabweAfrican Clawless Otter (Aonyx capensis) | Spotted-necked Otter (Hydrictis maculicollis)
showing: 144 rows

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Otter Population by Country 2024