About Eurasian Otter

About Eurasian Otter

  • IUCN status of Eurasian Otter is “near threatened”.
  • The Eurasian otter is a semi-aquatic species living in a wide range of freshwater habitats and along coasts.
  • The Eurasian otter has been recorded historically from the Western Ghats (Coorg in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu’s Nilgiri and Palani hill ranges).
  • However, this is the first photographic and genetic confirmation of its presence in Western Ghats
  • The species is widespread across Europe, northern Africa and several south Asian countries.
  • It is not as frequently sighted as smooth-coated or small-clawed otters in India.

Threats

  • Otter roadkills caused by increasing fragmentation of forests
  • Modification of their original habitats are becoming increasingly common now.
  • Though protected by the Wildlife Protection Act (1972), otters are often illegally poached for pelts (dressed hairy coat of a mammal).

Way ahead

  • The paucity of information doesn’t help, with otters facing multiple threats.
  • Detailed surveys and studies are the need of the hour.

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