|Distribution of spotted-necked otter|
The spotted-necked otter is a relatively small species, with males measuring 71 to 76 cm (28 to 30 in) from nose to rump, and weighing 5.7 to 6.5 kg (13 to 14 lb), while females are 57 to 61 cm (22 to 24 in) and 3.0 to 4.7 kg (6.6 to 10.4 lb). The tail is long and muscular, measuring 39 to 44 cm (15 to 17 in) in both sexes. Like many other otters, it is sleek and has webbed paws for swimming. Females have two pairs of teats, and while males have a large scrotum, the penis is hidden beneath the skin, to reduce drag while swimming.
Although considerable variation exists among individuals, their fur is usually reddish to chocolate brown and marked with creamy or white blotches over the chest and throat. The head is broad with a short muzzle, small rounded ears, and a hairless nose pad. The teeth are adapted for consuming fish, with large sharp upper canine teeth, curved lower canines, and sharp carnassial teeth. The jaws are similarly adapted, with the mandibular fossa fitting so snugly into the condyle on the lower jaw that the latter cannot move sideways, making it easier to capture and hold fish.
Although up to five subspecies have previously been identified, these most likely represent a natural variation in appearance between individuals, and no subspecies are currently recognised.
Spotted-necked otters are found in lakes and larger rivers throughout much of Africa south of 10°N. They are common in Lake Victoria and across Zambia, but for some unexplained reason often are absent from what appear to be suitable habitats, such as the lakes and rivers of East Africa and the Zambezi below Victoria Falls. No evidence of spotted-necked otters venturing into salt water has been found.
Spotted-necked otters feed primarily on fish, typically less than 20 cm (7.9 in) in length, but also eat frogs and small crustaceans, especially when fish are in short supply. They are diurnal, and appear to hunt entirely by sight using short dives of less than 20 seconds each in clear water with good visibility. Larger prey items are carried ashore, while smaller items are eaten while treading water. Known predators on the otters include crocodiles and African fish eagles.
The otters are sometimes found in family groups, but appear to be social only under certain conditions. Males and females are separated for at least part of the year. They normally hunt alone, except when mothers are training their young, and are not territorial, sheltering through the night in short burrows, rock crevices, or patches of dense vegetation. On land, they travel mainly by the use of regular paths, and rarely move more than 10 m (33 ft) from river or lake banks. As with many other otters, these paths are marked by "sprainting" sites in which they habitually defecate and urinate.
Spotted-necked otters are very vocal, uttering high, thin whistles and rapid, shrill chatters. The female bears a litter of up to three young after a gestation period around two months. The young are born blind and helpless, and the mother cares for them for almost a year.
The Asiatic linsang (Prionodon) is a genus comprising two species native to Southeast Asia: the banded linsang (Prionodon linsang) and the spotted linsang (Prionodon pardicolor). Prionodon is considered a sister taxon of the Felidae.Catopuma
Catopuma is a genus containing two Asian small wild cat species, the bay cat (C. badia) and the Asian golden cat (C. temminckii).
Both are typically reddish brown in colour, with darker markings on the head. They inhabit forested environments in Southeast Asia. The bay cat is restricted to the island of Borneo. Originally thought to be two subspecies of the same animal, recent genetic analysis has confirmed they are, indeed, separate species.The two species diverged from one another 4.9-5.3 million years ago, long before Borneo separated from the neighboring islands. Their closest living relative is the marbled cat, from which the common ancestor of the genus Catopuma diverged around 9.4 million years ago.Eupleres
Eupleres is a genus of two species of mongoose-like euplerid mammal native to Madagascar. They are primarily terrestrial and consume mainly invertebrates.Ferret-badger
Ferret-badgers are the five species of the genus Melogale, which is the only genus of the monotypic mustelid subfamily Helictidinae.
Bornean ferret-badger (Melogale everetti)
Chinese ferret-badger (Melogale moschata)
Javan ferret-badger (Melogale orientalis)
Burmese ferret-badger (Melogale personata)
Vietnam ferret-badger (Melogale cucphuongensis)Galerella
Galerella is a genus of the mongoose family (Herpestidae) native to Africa and commonly called the slender mongooses.There are four or five species in this genus, with more than 30 subspecies.
Four of the species have long been established:
A recent addition is the black mongoose, Galerella nigrata, which now is considered a separate species by many scientists, following genetic analysis. It was previously seen as a variant of Galerella sanguinea.Lake Kwania
Lake Kwania is in the districts of Lira, Apac and Amolatar in the Northern Region of Uganda. It is part of a large wetland along the White Nile (Victoria Nile) between Lake Victoria and Lake Albert. The wetland, which includes Lake Kwania, the even larger Lake Kyoga, and other water bodies and swamps, consists of about 3,420 square kilometres (1,320 sq mi) of open water and about 2,180 square kilometres (840 sq mi) of permanent swamps. Of this total, Lake Kwania accounts for 540 square kilometres (210 sq mi), about 16 percent, of the open water.The lake is heavily fished for Nile tilapia and Nile perch, introduced species that caused declines in native fish populations after the mid-1950s. By the late 1960s, the introduced species made up about 80 percent of the commercial catch from Lake Kyoga, Kwania's near neighbor. Although civil unrest, overfishing, and infestations of water hyacinth (later brought under control) at times curtailed the fishing, by the mid-1990s Lake Kwania had 34 landing sites and a fleet of about 1,500 planked canoes operated by about 4,500 fishers.Lutrogale
Lutrogale is a genus of otters, with only one extant species—the smooth-coated otter.Mephitis (genus)
The genus Mephitis is one of several genera of skunks, which has two species and a North American distribution.Mustelidae
The Mustelidae (; from Latin mustela, weasel) are a family of carnivorous mammals, including weasels, badgers, otters, ferrets, martens, mink, and wolverines, among others. Mustelids are diverse and the largest family in the order Carnivora, suborder Caniformia. Mustelidae comprises about 56-60 species across eight subfamilies.Mustelinae
Mustelinae is a subfamily of family Mustelidae, which includes weasels, ferrets amd minks.It was formerly defined in a paraphyletic manner to also include wolverines, martens, and many other mustelids, to the exclusion of the otters (Lutrinae).Narrow-striped mongoose
The narrow-striped mongoose (Mungotictis decemlineata) is a member of the family Eupleridae, subfamily Galidiinae and endemic to Madagascar. It inhabits the Madagascar dry deciduous forests of western and southwestern Madagascar, where it lives from sea level to about 125 m (410 ft) between the Tsiribihina and Mangoky rivers. In Malagasy it is called bokiboky (pronounced "Boo-ky Boo-ky").Nyctereutes
Nyctereutes is an Old World genus of the family Canidae, consisting of just one living species, the raccoon dog of East Asia. Nyctereutes appeared about 9.0 million years ago (Mya), with all but one species becoming extinct before the Pleistocene.
Native to East Asia, the raccoon dog has been intensively bred for fur in Europe and especially in Russia during the twentieth century. Specimens have escaped or have been introduced to increase production and formed populations in Eastern Europe. It is currently expanding rapidly in the rest of Europe, where its presence is undesirable because it is considered to be a harmful and invasive species.Otter
Otters are carnivorous mammals in the subfamily Lutrinae. The 13 extant otter species are all semiaquatic, aquatic or marine, with diets based on fish and invertebrates. Lutrinae is a branch of the weasel family Mustelidae, which also includes badgers, honey badgers, martens, minks, polecats, and wolverines.Oviston Nature Reserve
Oviston Nature Reserve is a protected area in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa. The nature reserve is managed by Eastern Cape Parks. It is located on the southern shores of the Gariep Dam.Paradoxurus
Paradoxurus is a genus within the viverrid family that was denominated and first described by Frédéric Cuvier in 1822. As of 2005, this genus was defined as comprising three species native to Southeast Asia:
the Asian palm civet (P. hermaphroditus)
the golden palm civet (P. zeylonensis)
the brown palm civet (P. jerdoni)In 2009, it was proposed to also include the golden wet-zone palm civet (P. aureus), the Sri Lankan brown palm civet (P. montanus) and the golden dry-zone palm civet (P. stenocephalus), which are endemic to Sri Lanka.Pusa
Pusa is a genus of the earless seals, within the family Phocidae. The three species of this genus were split from the genus Phoca, and some sources still give Phoca as an acceptable synonym for Pusa.
The three species in this genus are found in Arctic and subarctic regions, as well as around the Caspian Sea. This includes these countries and regions: Russia, Scandinavia, Britain, Greenland, Canada, the United States, Iran, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Japan. Due to changing local environmental conditions, the ringed seals found in the Canadian region has varied patterns of growth. The northern Canadian ringed seals grow slowly to a larger size, while the southern seals grow quickly to a smaller size.
Only the Caspian seal is endangered.Steenkampsberg, Mpumalanga
Steenkampsberg (Afrikaans: Steenkampsberge) is a South African mountain plateau in the Dullstroom - Belfast district of Mpumalanga Province. The plateau consists largely of high-altitude grassland, ranging between 1700 and 2274 metres, broken by rocky outcrops.Wildlife of Ethiopia
Ethiopia has a large variety of indigenous plant and animal species. In some areas, the mountains are covered with shrubs such as pyracantha, jasmine, poinsettia, and a varied assortment of evergreens. Caraway, carcade, cardamom, chat, coriander, incense, myrrh, and red pepper are common. The lakes in the Great Rift Valley region abound with numerous species of birds, and wild animals are found in every region. Among the latter are the cheetah, lion, civet, serval, African bush elephant, bushpig, gazelle, antelope, ibex, kudu, dik-dik, oribi, reedbuck, Somali wild ass, Grévy's zebra, hyena, baboon, and numerous species of monkey. As of 2002, there were at least 277 species of mammals, 262 species of birds, and over 6,600 species of plants throughout the country.
Extant Carnivora species