Social organization considered variable; show both solitary and group behaviors, but behavior not well-studied. (Kruuk 2006
Extremely difficult to identify sex of swimming individuals.
Much mutual grooming but sexes and relationships of grooming individuals not yet well studied.
Researchers note that river otters in Canada (Lontra canadensis) exhibit both social groups and solitary males in the same populations - a highly unusual social organization for mammals. (Blundell et al 2004)
In resource-poor Africa, few telemetry studies of this otter's territorial behavior (Ogada 2004)
Spot-necked otters are not territorial according to Perrin et al (2000), but this behavior has not been well-studied (Gallant 2007)
Density of otters on Kamber Nature Reserve in KwaZuluNatal, South Africa: 1 otter/1.6 - 2.4 km (1-1.5 otter/ mi )
One study in KwaZulu-Natal Province indicated that South Africa males have larger home range than females.
Females may move far from a shoreline when raising young in a "natal holt" - in order to avoid infanticide by males. (Kruuk 20006)
Play and Grooming
Coexists with, but doesn't compete directly with:
Presence of spot-necked otters signals absence of Nile crocodiles in a habitat. (Lejeune & Frank 1990)
Take portions of fish catch of local Rwandans. (Larivière 2002)
Spot-necked otter investigates a pumpkin, as part of the San Diego Zoo's animal welfare enrichment programs.
Image credit: © San Diego Zoo Global. All rights reserved.
Benza et al (2009)
Blundell et al (2004)
Brzeziński & Romanowski (2006)
Gnoli et al (1998)
Lejeune & Frank (1990)
Perrin et al (2000)
Perrin & D'Inzillo Carranza (2000)
Rowe-Rowe (1978, 1992)
Rowe-Rowe & Sommers (1998)
Somers & Purves (1996)