Threats

Giant otters are globally endangered (IUCN Red List) and need your help.

Until the beginning of the 1990, hunting depleted most of the population. In Brazil, viable populations are limited to the Amazon and Pantanal. In the Cerrado Biome, the giant otter population persists and seems to be limited to the Tocantins River basin.

The Pantanal population is on the southern most limit of their distribution and seems to present a lower genetic diversity.

Habit loss and degradation by human activities is currently the eminent threat for the overall health of the species. Throughout the entire distribution of giant otters, their population is decimated by contamination of rivers and destruction of riparian vegetation which is caused by gold mining, agriculture and other human activities. Hydroelectric dams may isolate populations and destroy their habitat, affecting the availability of fish and other resources. Human conflicts with the species is also common and many times are motivated by the idea that the species is competing for fish or is dangerous.

Poorly managed tourism can also be a threat. High traffic and approaching of boats may drive the group away or affect the survival of cubs.