Use of space and activity rhythms of spotted-necked otters in the Natal Drakensberg.
Carranza, Ilaria d'Inzillo.
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The study was carried out in Kamberg Nature Reserve (Natal Drakensberg) from June 1994 to August 1995. Seven spotted-necked otters were fitted with an intraperitoneal radio-implant; radio-tracking was performed by both temporally independent locations and 24h continuous tracking sessions. When active, otters were always found in aquatic habitats, mainly dams, the river or oxbow lakes. Dense vegetation cover, as trees, reeds, and tall grass were preferred while resting. Otters were active both during the day and during the night, with peaks of activity at twilight. The amount of time spent in consecutive activity varied seasonally together with the main prey items exploited. Average home range area was 11.3km², including a stretch of river with an average length of 14.8 km. No intersexual nor intrasexual territoriality was detected. Intraspecific relationships varied with the dispersion and availability of food resources.