This video shows a giant river otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) spotted by a conservationist kayaking the Bermejo River in Argentina’s Impenetrable National Park in May 2021.
The giant river otter was thought to be locally extinct in Argentina. This species has not been seen in Argentina for 40 years so this new sighting is a wonderful surprise!
It is not known yet if this otter traveled to Argentina from somewhere else or, instead, if it is part of an unobserved group already living in Argentina. Prior to this sighting, the nearest known giant river otter group was in the Paraguayan Pantanal, hundreds of miles away.
Either way, this sighting has caused great excitement for conservationists hoping to restore and rewild Argentina’s Impenetrable National Park.
Sebastian Di Martino of Rewilding Argentina was the lucky otter spotter!
Sebastian says: “As top predators, the giant river otter exerts a regulatory influence on plants and other animals which contributes to the health of aquatic ecosystems.”
|extinct||when a species no longer exists (has no living members)|
|locally extinct||when a species no longer exists in a defined geographic area such as a park, region, or country|
|ecological restoration||returning a damaged or disturbed habitat to a former natural state|
|rewilding||restoring biodiversity (plant & animal species) to an area, making it “wild” again|
|top predator||a predator at the top of a food chain, also called an apex predator|
|aquatic ecosystem||any marine or freshwater ecosystem, including oceans, lakes, rivers, estuaries, and wetlands|