Mustelidae

Morphology

Weight
from 6 to 11 kg

Classification

Classe
Mammals
Order
Carnivores
Family
Mustelidae
Lutra Lutra
 

DIET

The European otter feeds primarily on fish, but its diet may also comprise a significant portion of amphibians and aquatic invertebrates, as well as mammals, birds, reptiles and terrestrial invertebrates.
 

Reproduction

After a gestation period that lasts sixty or so days, females give birth to 1 to 3, seldom 4, young. The pups swim at the age of 3 months, are weaned at 4 months and set free at 8-9 months, but sometimes not before 1 year.
They then require 6 months to become as efficient at fishing as their parents.
Sexual maturity is reached around 2-3 years.
 

DISTRIBUTION

The natural habitat of the Lutra lutra (Eurasian otter) previously spanned Europe and Asia from Ireland to Japan, as well as North Africa.
In France, the otter, formerly present throughout except in Corsica, declined greatly in the 20th century when the species was only found along the Atlantic coast and in the Massif Central.
 

conservation STATUS

The European otter, protected legally since 1972, is starting to recolonize its former natural habitat.