Giant otters are protected through much of their range and are listed on Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), which effectively bans international trade (3). In 1990, the IUCN developed an action plan for the conservation of otter species. It recommended a number of conservation measures for giant otter including continuing studies on the ecology and requirements of this remarkable species, improving the management of existing protected areas in which it occurs, and stricter regulations to prevent the escape of toxic waste from factories, human settlements and agriculture into the surrounding rivers and wetlands. Education campaigns are also required to raise awareness of the plight of this fascinating species (8). The charismatic giant otter is also beginning to play a role in 'eco-tourism' that may provide some financial incentives for protection measures (7).
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