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Spot-necked Otter (Hydrictis maculicollis) Fact Sheet: Distribution & Habitat


(IUCN Redlist 2008)

  • Mainly central Africa, south of Sahara Desert (10° N)
  • Also, the Natal region of eastern South Africa
  • Areas where occurrence unclear
    • Possibly on Bioko Island off Cameroon coast
    • Possibly extinct in Burundi, Ghana, Lesotho, Togo
    • Absent from Swaziland


  • Inhabit only fresh water environments
    • Never found in coastal or marine waters
  • Large rivers, lakes, dams, and swamps with plentiful fish
    • Such as the Okavango Delta of Botswana, Lake Muhazi in Rwanda, Rubondo Island in Lake Victoria, Kenya. (IUCN Redlist 2008) (Kruuk 2006)
  • Prefer to forage near-shore amidst reeds and other vegetation. (Kruuk 2006)
  • Avoid sandy beaches, grassy shorelines, steep cliffs. (Perrin & D'Inzillo Carranza)(Kruuk 2006)
  • Need long grasses, reeds, or bushes, tree roots, and rocks along water edges for shelter when resting.
    • Sleeping sites under and between boulders on shorelines may be accessed from underwater. (Procter 1963, Kruuk 2006)
  • In the Drakensberg escarpment, KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa, use swamps in dry season (in wet season, no resting places); grasslands occupied in wet season. (Perrin 2000)
  • Unpolluted and crocodile-free waters (Lejune & Frank 1990)
  • Altitudes up to 2,500 m (8202 ft)

Distribution Map

Spot-necked otter distribution

Spot-Necked Otter Distribution.

Adapted from according to IUCN fact sheet. Click here or on map for detailed distribution (IUCN).

Page Citations

IUCN Redlist (2008)
Kruuk (2006)
Perrin & D'Inzillo Carranza
Procter (1963)
Rowe-Rowe (1990,1995)

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