Fischotter Lutra lutra (Linné, 1758)


English: European River Otter; French: Loutre commune; Arab: Al quadaah; Albanian: Lundza; Bulgarian: Widra; Chinese: Shua ta; Czech: vydra; Croatian: vidra; Danish: Odder; Dutch: Otter; Estonian: Saarmas; Finnish: Ssukko; Greek: Vidra; Hungarian: Vidra; Iranian: Sheng; Irish: Dobharchú (Madra visce); Italian: Lontra; Japanese: Korean: Sudal; Lettish: Udris; Lithuanian: Udra; Mongol: Khaliu; Montenigrin: vidra; Norwegian: Oter; Pashto: Khorbla; Polish: Wydra; Portuguese: Lontra; Romanian: Vidra; Russian: Vidra; Serb: vidra; Slovakian: vydra; Slovenian: vidra; Spanisch: Nutria; Swedish: Utter; Turkish: Su samuru, Su iti, Su köpêgi; Urdu: Udbilaw.

Former distribution: As now.
Present distribution: All rivers and streams of Europe, lakes and coastal waters, and in Asia south of the tundra line; South to Algeria and Morocco, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, Iran, northern Iraq, Afghanistan, northern Pakistan, Kashmir, Nepal. Xizang (Tibet) and southern China. Not in Iceland and the Mediterranean Islands.
Behaviour: Preferred habitat: rivers, streams and lakes; mainly nocturnal, but also diurnal; excellent swimmers and divers, hunting singly or in pairs crayfish, turtles, frogs, fish, snails, shells, birds, and small land mammals.
Population status: In the western countries of Europe endangered, due to excessive hunting, pollution, pesticides, and destruction of habitats. In most other countries vulnerable. In the USSR estimated 12-15 000; France: 17; FRG: 200-500; Italy: 100; Switzerland: 10-15; GDR: 10; Austria: 17; Holland: 300; Sweden: 500-1000; England and Ireland: vulnerable.
Brief notes:
Body weight: 6-25 kg
Head and body length: 60-95 cm
Tail length: 25-55 cm
Shoulder height: 25-30 cm
Gestation period: 2 months
Maximum age: 20 years
Trophy: Skull length 12.6 cm, width 8.3 cm; CIC: 20.9 points.
Hunting methods: Formerly with traps, and nets, hounds; now protected by law.
Subspecies: 6
1. Lutra l. lutra Europe, USSR, Mongolia, North-east China. Rare.
2. Lutra l. meridionalis Caucasia, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Israel, Lebanon. Rare.
3. Lutra l. seistanica Central Asia in the USSR, Turkmeniya, eastern Iran, Afghanistan. Rare.
4. Lutra l. angustifrons Algeria, Morocco. Endangered.
5. Lutra l. chinensis Continental China. Rare.
6. Lutra l. monticola North India, Nepal. Sikkim, Assam. Rare.
Remarks: Lutra l. aurobrunnea and Lutra l. kutab are probably synonyms for Lutra l. monticola; Nepal, Kashmir, and Tibet (Xizang). The geographic variations of the palaearctic otter have not yet been sufficiently studied. A reclassification of all listed subspecies is required.