Giant Otter Pantanal Project “Degree of relationship and social relations of Giant Otters” (Pteronura brasiliensis)”
Molecular analyses have revolutionized knowledge on the species social systems. Giant otters are social animals that present strong cooperation among individuals of a group. Observed behaviors suggest that groups are constituted by a dominant reproductive pair and their following youngsters, who do not reproduce within the original group. The first attained objectives of this project are the following: (1) to establish semi-invasive extraction methods of genetic sampling (tissue) for giant otter in the wild; (2) to develop specific microsatellites for Pteronura brasiliensis; and (3) to access the relationship degree of giant otters within and among other groups in Southern Pantanal. The next step is to continue gathering genetic samples of this population so we can answer reproductive and parenthood strategy questions. These samples also aim to contemplate large-scale genetic issues on the species conservation. The objectives of this project partially meet Goal 2 and actions 2.1, 2.4, 2.9, 2.12 of the Giant Otter National Action Plans- NAP (ICMBio).