Study species: Giant otter (Pteronura brasiliensis)
Project location: Peru’s Manu National Park and Madre de Dios river
Species fact: Giant otters are the largest otter species in the world. Adults can weigh up to 30 kilograms and reach a length of 6 feet.
Problem: Human activities, particularly small-scale gold mining, are causing the destruction of the aquatic habitats inhabited by giant otters and a decrease in the quantities of fish giant otters depend on.
Surveying protected and disturbed areas for otter presence and habitat destruction to examine the effects of gold mining on giant otter distribution and abundance.
Quantifying fish availability and mercury contamination to understand how human activities can affect giant otters.
Working with local communities to understand their perceptions towards giant otters and aquatic ecosystems and developing environmental education programs.
What your donation can achieve
Could buy the team a GPS device to record all the giant otter locations; a cooking tent for field team’s campsite; a tablet for recording interview answers; or a solar panel for charging electronic devices.
Could get the team a device that will examine water quality; 250 gallons of fuel for a month-long field trip; a satellite communication device; or a mobile freezer to store samples.
Could get the team a rubber boat to increase the number of lakes it can visit each day; a video camera to document giant otter behaviour; a generator to charge cameras and batteries; a drone to map lakes.
Could get the project’s aluminum boat which allows transportation among oxbow lakes; or a boat engine.