Communication in the Hairy-Nosed Otter

Vocal Communication

Hairy-nosed otter walking up a branch before turning round and sprainting down the limb.  Excerpt from video by Budsabong KanchanasakaAccording to the sources quoted in Wright et al (2008), the calls are very much like those of Lutra lutra. The usual otter contact call, a single syllable chirp, is made, and the soft chattering of a mother otter to her cub has been heard.

Non-Vocal Communication

The importance of spraint as a non-vocal communication may not be as strong in this species as it is in many others. These animals do not have regular latrines as they mainly live in flooded forest.  They usually spraint on branches or tree trunks projecting at low angles from the water, walking up the wood, then turning round and defaecating along the branch on the way down.  Local people in all locations report that this species does not spraint on dry land even in the dry season, but always use items projecting from water.  In a wet environment, scats do not persist for very long, so marking territory as other otters do would be difficult.

Hairy-Nosed Otter