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Use of Shelters by the Neotropical River Otter (Lontra longicaudis) in an Atlantic Forest Stream, Southeastern Brazil

Renata Pardini and Eleonora Trajano
Journal of Mammalogy
Vol. 80, No. 2 (May, 1999), pp. 600-610
DOI: 10.2307/1383304
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1383304
Page Count: 11
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Use of Shelters by the Neotropical River Otter (Lontra longicaudis) in an Atlantic Forest Stream, Southeastern Brazil
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Abstract

Use of shelters by the Neotropical river otter (Lontra longicaudis) was studied in a headwater stream of the Atlantic Forest, southeastern Brazil, during 1994. L. longicaudis used almost all types of natural cavities available along river banks, and they excavated burrows or found shelter in dense grass. Two large caves were used as shelters and also to raise young. The degree of conservation of the forest and human disturbance around the shelters did not influence use by otters. However, otters used shelters located higher on the river banks more frequently, probably because they were less vulnerable to flooding. Considering all shelters found during 1 year, shelters of L. longicaudis were distributed at random along the stream, and scent marks were not concentrated around them. Number of shelters in use per month was constant throughout the year, indicating that this can be used to monitor populations of river otters.

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