Otters of the Colombian Orinoquía: know this animal in danger of extinction

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'Otters of the Colombian Orinoquía' is a book that allows knowing more in-depth this species that is threatened by humans

Otters of the Colombian Orinoquía: know this animal in danger of extinction

The book was written by Fernando Trujillo, director of the Omacha Foundation. The publication, characterized by its spectacular photography, is available with the foundation.

Leer en español: Nutrias de la Orinoquía Colombiana: conoce este animal en peligro de extinción

Some of the basic data known about these animals are that they are mammals, carnivores, that their fingers are joined by membranes, which can be animals of the rivers and seas, inhabit banks and, more importantly, are on the way to extinction.

However, the above-mentioned data is not enough. From its beginning, in the publication, it is realized the existence of 13 types of otters in the world. "Each species is different from the others, but they still retain their characteristic shape. This enduring love, which some call obsession, gives me the courage to continue doing everything possible to ensure that these wonderful creatures do not disappear", says in the prologue of the book, Nicole Duplaix, renowned American zoologist and ecologist.

The goal of not disappearing, although it seems not so distant, is stored among the 171 pages of this book where emphasis is made on two types of otters: the Neotropical otter and the giant otter, two species found in Colombia and They live in the basins of the rivers that feed the Amazon and also in ecosystems above 4,000 meters above sea level.

But although these species turn out to have good adaptability, the fact is that both have managed to survive despite the fact that from 1940 to 1970, their disappearance was evident due to the hunting they were subjected to, in order to commercialize their skin in international markets. Nevertheless, says Trujillo in the book, "In 1978 most governments of South America banned this activity and legally protected these species."

However, the fight has not stopped. Both types of otters try to survive before the disappearance of their habitats, in the middle of the dispute that they face with the fishermen, the hydroelectric plants and the illegal traffic of puppies to be commercialized like mascots.

Given the conditions, in the red book of threatened mammals of Colombia, the giant otter is in danger, while the Neotropical otter, in a vulnerable state. This situation has led to the species being protected by law since there are several initiatives that have been implemented for their conservation.

According to the text, a South American Action Plan for the conservation of the giant otter is currently being developed, where it has been proposed to designate new protected areas and corridors to prevent populations from becoming fragmented. Likewise, the idea of positioning the species as an ambassador of aquatic ecosystems in local educational programs has been raised.

The plan has considered creating spaces to reduce conflicts with artisanal fishermen, assess the impact of mercury and hydroelectric on the species, the formation of ecotourism guides that apply the regulations in order to reduce the impacts on ecosystems, and even, the idea of developing a system that allows projecting the population changes in the giant otter during the next 20 years has been weighted.

The threats that surround these animals are not the only subject spoken of in the Orias of the Colombian Orinoquía. In the book are also detailed the extraordinary behaviors, physical descriptions, habitats, and customs of these animals.

Accompanied by photographs and illustrations, the language of this book is simple and especially designed to make it easy to understand, but above all ideal to recognize the importance of these animals and the need for conservation that is woven around them.


LatinAmerican Post | Maria Alejandra Gómez

Translated from "Nutrias de la Orinoquía Colombiana: conoce este animal en peligro de extinción" 

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