Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance logo
San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance Library logo

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

Distribution

(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

Habitat

  • 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 www-d.-maps.com 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)

SDZWA Library Links