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Marine Otter : Conservation

Lontra Felina

The usual suspects

Hunting, pollution and habit destruction are, as usual, the main threats which are bringing the sea cat closed to extinction - "vulnerable" status on the IUCN Red List.

In Chile they are still hunted for their fur, which makes good boots - with very little chance of being caught or fined, there is no incentive for it to stop. Throughout their range there are worries about sea pollution from heavy metals and other contaminants. Additionally, kelp and algae farming may reduce the populations of important shellfish prey species and overfishing of the same shellfish exasperates the problem. Which means that local fishermen see the otters as competition and also kill them.