Iheringia. Série Zoologia
Print version ISSN 0073-4721
SANTOS, Lívia B.; REIS, Nelio R. dos and ORSI, Mário L.. Trophic ecology of Lontra longicaudis (Carnivora, Mustelidae) in lotic and semilotic environments in southeastern Brazil. Iheringia, Sér. Zool. [online]. 2012, vol.102, n.3, pp. 261-268. Epub Sep 11, 2012. ISSN 0073-4721. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0073-47212012005000004.
Lontra longicaudis (Olfers, 1818) (Carnivora, Mustelidae) is a semi-aquatic animal spread through the Central and South America, except in Chile. The implantation of a hydroelectric power plant along a river alters the dynamics of the watercourse, transforming a lotic environment into a lentic or semilotic one, what can damage the otter's feeding. From April 2008 to March 2009 we analysed the otter's food habits in lotic (streamlet) and semilotic (hydroelectric reservoir) environments of Paranapanema Valley, in southeastern Brazil. Aiming to compare the otter's diet of these two environments, we analyzed statistically the frequency of occurrence of main items in the scats. Fishes represent the base of the diet both in the reservoir and in the streamlet and, despite of the total otter's diet showing up similarities in the two environments, the results evidenced modifications on the fish species consumed between them. In the reservoir the otters ate more exotic fish Oreochromis niloticus (Linnaeus, 1758) probably because it is an easy capture prey in this place. The fact that the otters get established and feed in the reservoir doesn't mean that this structure is benefic to the species because the food supplied for it consists mainly of exotic fish species.
Keywords : Neotropical otter; feeding habit; natural environment; changed environment.