Sea Otter

Otters in South America | The sea otter (Lontra felina) is also called chungungo in South America and, along with the sea otter, is the only marten species that lives in the sea. Sea otters have a long, slender body and a relatively short tail compared to other otter species. With a size of about 1 m and a weight of 3 – 5 kg, it is the smallest among the New World otters. The rough fur is dark brown on the back, the belly and throat are slightly lighter in color.

Sea otters live alone or in small groups of up to 3 animals and do not appear to be territorial. The habitats of different males and females often overlap. Females give birth to 2 – 5 young after a gestation period of 60 – 70 days, which remain with their parents for about 10 months.

Its distribution area extends over the coast of South America from Peru, Chile and Argentina. They prefer hunting grounds in kelp and kelp forests, where they dive up to 40 m deep and feed on fish, squid and crustaceans.


For a long time, the sea otter was hunted for its fur, which led to a sharp decline in the population.

The current threats to otters lie in the pollution of coastal waters, habitat destruction and overfishing of prey fish. Furthermore, countless otters get caught and drown in fishing nets and crab traps.

YAQU PACHA is carrying out a project in Peru under the direction of Dr. Juan Valqui in cooperation with Pro Delphinus .

Project Sea Otter | Project Robben | Chilean Dolphin Project | Videos | 30 years of YAQU PACHA e.V. | Summary of a successful workshop | Tasks and Goals | Chilean Dolphin | Species Conservation | Animal species that YAQU PACHA is working to protect