The Neotropical otter is listed as Endangered under the U.S Endangered Species Act (7), and international trade in this species is banned under its listing on Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) (3). It is also listed as Endangered by and by the Mexican Ministry of Ecology (1).
This species is listed as a priority species by the Fundacion Vida Silvestre Argentina, which has made efforts to gather more biological information on the Neotropical otter and prevent illegal hunting. The Neotropical otter is highly protected in most countries in its range, but enforcement of the law varies (2).
As little is known about the abundance, distribution and behaviour of the Neotropical otter, conservation efforts should focus on identifying key habitats, protecting areas where high populations remain, and reducing water pollution (1).
In the Ibera lagoon, Argentina, the population of Neotropical otters recovered rapidly after excessive hunting of this species was bannedin 1983 (2), indicating that its populations may be able to recover well when properly protected.