he marine otter is found in the temperate and tropical coastal waters on the Pacific coast of South America, from northern Peru, along the coast of Chile all the way to the southern tip of South America in Cape Horn. There is a very small remnant population in Argentina in the east coast of Tierra del Fuego. They have been introduced to the Falkland Islands by people intending to raise them for fur, and although rare, they still exist in small numbers here.

Their range does not extend farther north than 6° S, and not much further south than 53° S. In addition to being the otter with the most southerly range, they are the only otter in the genus Lontra that is found exclusively in a marine habitat. They tend to inhabit areas where there are rocky outcroppings and strong winds. They have avoided spreading to the eastern coast because they prefer the rocky coast where their favorite prey like to hide in, and avoid the sandy beaches.

Though they are primarily aquatic, they will range for up to 100 ft (30 m) inland. They rest in the dense, poor-soil loving plants that thrive along the coast. They usually stay within the tidal zone, which is 6-8 ft (2-2.5 m) offshore, but will go out as far as 500 m (1650 ft) when hunting. Most of their time is spent in the littoral zone (the shore).

Species of Otter

Sea Otter | River Otter | Marine Otter | European Otter | Giant Otter