Mating and Reproduction

Like other river otters, Lontra Provocax usually breeds during the winter and spring and give birth the following year, though numbers for the species can have a huge variance between actual breeding times and fertilization. This variance can be between ten to even twelve months long, but the actual staging for real embryonic development is along the lines of one to two months.

 When the pups are born they are helpless, blind, and immobile. They are completely dependent on the mother for the first few months of survival. The mother usually has four nipples to feed the young she may have; the typical river otter gives birth to two to four pups per breeding season. During the first few weeks the young otters are always looking for attention and milk from the mother because the milk is very high nutrition and energy. This high source of calories and nutrients helps because the young have a very fast metabolism.

Baby otters

A Mother otter and Her babies

They are constantly needing more nutrients to keep them growing and developing. After several weeks the newborns are able to open up their eyes and explore the den. They are still very dependent on their mother for food and protection for up to three months, after which time the young otters finally take their first try at swimming. By the time they reach about four months the young otters have learned how to fish for themselves and obtain other sources of food. The otters will stay with their mother for up to a year and then journey on their own. They will reach sexual maturity within the second to third year which means they are mature enough to start mating and begin the process anew.


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Cedric, Valmary, and Kari Pihlaviita. 2010 "Lontra Provocax, The Southern River Otter."Http:// Encyclopedia of Life. Web. 27 Mar. 2014.

Sepulveda, M., Franco, M., Medina, G., Fasola, L. & Alvarez, R. 2008. Lontra provocax. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <>. Downloaded on 27 March 2014.

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