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Human Impact On Otters

Otters have been hunted by humans for centuries for their soft, thick fur and because they have been viewed as competitors for fish. Trade in otter fur was once very active, but the hunting of otters for their fur has declined in recent years, due both to the decline in otter populations (especially species of river otter) and the passage of laws protecting otters. The best otter pelts are reportedly from the North American river otter, specifically from otters living in Labrador.

Otters, being fairly intelligent animals, have occasionally been trained. Otters catch and retrieve fish in Sweden and China, and in India, tame, muzzled otters have been used to drive fish into nets.



Chanin, Paul. The Natural History of Otters. New York: Facts on File Publications, 1985.

Grzimek, H.C. Bernard, Dr., ed. Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1993.

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Wildlife. London: Grey Castle Press, 1991.

MacMillan Illustrated Animal Encyclopedia. New York: MacMillan, 1992.

Mason, C.F., and S.M. Macdonald. Otters: Ecology and Conservation. London: Cambridge University Press, 1986.

Kathryn Snavely

Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Octadecanoate to OvenbirdsOtters - Diet, Play, Sea Otter, River Otters, Clawless Otters, Giant Otter, Human Impact On Otters