01 May Otters in the Piro River
by: Max and Agustín
While walking by the Piro River a few days ago on one of our patrols to ensure the protection of the Osa Wildlife Refuge, Agustín recorded an awe-inspiring video.
Agustín told me, “I was walking upstream when I saw a large animal that was moving only a few meters away from me. I silently approached the animal and discovered that it was an otter hunting crabs and shrimp; the agility with which he caught them really impressed me.”
The otter (Lontra longicaudis) resides in healthy rivers and streams that have an abundance of fish and crustaceans to eat. This aquatic mustelid can weigh up to 9 kilograms (nearly 20 pounds) and grow to 1.2 meters (nearly 4 feet) long. It lives on the Banks of rivers in caves that have entrances located under the water. Due to the ecological needs of this animal, the presence of otters is considered to be an indication of a healthy aquatic ecosystem.
Disgracefully, due to water contamination and the destruction of riverine (riverside) forests, the otters’ habitat has been reduced and populations have declined to the point that it is now considered to be an endangered species in Costa Rica. You can help address this issue by supporting Osa Conservation’s reforestation and other conservation projects.