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Giant River Otter

The Giant River Otter

The Giant River Otter (scientific name: Pteronura brasiliensis) is the largest species in the mustelid family, which includes otters, weasels, and ferrets. It is an endemic species of South America, the warm climate and the great rivers with all their fish, are their habitat.

The Giant River Otter, by its extremely social nature, lives in families of 3 to 8 individuals and has even registered families of 20 individuals that hunt together and otters that have traveled 520 km to find a mate.

The Giant River Otter, not having a natural predator, competes with the black alligator for the title of the maximum predator of the Amazonian lakes (cochas), and it is known that these species even come to face physically.

Their main food is the fish of these oxbow lakes, contributing to the trophic balance of the aquatic ecosystem.

In addition, the most representative species of the Amazon, along with the macaw and the otorongo.

Lago Cocococha - Giant River Otter - Tambopata

Giant River Otter in the Tambopata National Reserve

Interesting data on the Giant River Otter


It has a unique spot on the neck, which allows easy identification by scientists, and that is how the number of individuals in their species is easily enumerated.


It has a length of 1.5 to 1.5 meters and a weight of between 20 and 33 kilos.

Conservation of the Giant River Otter

The Giant River Otter is classified as “Endangered” by IUCN (2008) and has been included since 1973 in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora – CITES, a document ratified by all South American countries. Due to the large territory it inhabits, the protection of this species is a complicated task that requires the joint coordination of multiple institutions.

You can see this beautiful species in Tambopata National Reserve, exactly in Tres Chimbadas Oxbow Lake our guides will also let you know more about this beautiful species, like the endangered danger they are in, since there are currently only 5,000 copies worldwide.


We have experience in trips through the jungle of Puerto Maldonado, come to know the National Reserve of Tambopata.

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