|Town/Region||Paracas National Reserve|
|Continent||Central and Latin America|
|Date||15 Nov 2007|
The marine otter (Lontra felina) is found along the coasts of Peru and Chile. The main threats faced by this species include mostly human activities such as direct capture, incidental mortality in fishing gears, pollution as well as habitat degradation and encroachment. Because of these threats marine otter is classified as “Endangered”. Population of this species in Peru have been estimated in around 700 animals. The last census carried out in 2004 estimated in 40 the number of marine otters in the Paracas National Reserve, the most important marine protected area of Peru.
Taking in account the little information available about the marine otter it was decided to develop this project that involves gathering of first hand information about the current situation of the marine otter, in a location of particular importance because the presence of a natural protected area and the confluence on it of several human activities. Through the development of project activities we will gather updated data on the presence and distribution of marine otters in the territory of the Paracas National Reserve, identify the current and potential threats and to determine some behavioural parameters (feeding, reproduction, socialization), the later observing a population of marine otters found in the Reserve.
Conservation of marine otter is another important component of the project, and includes elaboration of awareness materials (large prints, stickers and leaflets) with information about the species to be distributed among the several publics involved in marine otter conservation.
Development of current project will contribute to the conservation of the biodiversity of the Paracas National Reserve, a natural protected area in Peru established to conserve populations of coastal and marine threatened species. The information obtained will be valuable tool for outlining conservation actions for the species.
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