Spotted-necked Otter : Conservation
The main threats to spotted-necked otters are considered to be siltation due to erosion near the source of rivers, cutivation of bankside habitats, indiscriminate bushfires, competition for fish and hunting.
The otters are used in traditional medicines. The fur of spotted-necked otters is considered a cure for eye and nose infections.
The use of new nylon fishing nets has also been reported as causing the death of otters which become tangled in them and drown. The local fisherman may also kill otters as a threat to their fish stocks - probably wrongly, as otters only take small fish and are not very numerous anyway.
They are generally declining in many areas, primarily due to the loss of the clean, clear water habitats they require to function effectively.
The main conservation efforts are in making local populations aware of the need to preserve wetland habitats and the creatures which live in them. Here, as everywhere, otters are a key species - bioindicators of healthy ecosystems.
Studies on otter populations have recommended patrols to catch fish poachers, a closed fishing season and an early burning regime to prevent later uncontrollable bushfires.