Recently Eurasian otters have been found in Western Ghat and its population in Chilka Lake was also found.
● Otters adopt habitats ranging from marine to freshwater, and perform nomadic life between March and August.
● Otters are found worldwide, except in Australia, New Zealand, Madagascar, and other oceanic islands.
● TRAFFIC is also monitoring and documenting the trade in otter skins in an effort to better enforce regulatory measures to curb it.
● In India, the nomadic hunting tribes such as Gilhara, Badiya and Jogis are known to regularly kill otters for their skin and flesh.
Otters in India
Otters are reportedly breeding in Corbett and Dudhwa National Parks and Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary in north; Kaziranga National Park in North East; Sunderbans, Bhitarkanika and Coringa in the eastern coast; and Periyar and Nagarhole National Parks in the South.
Otter are widely noticed in Ganga/Brahmaputra Delta, Chambal River – Central India, Tungabhadra River, Mandovi River
All three species of otters are protected in India under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 (WPA) and are listed under CITES.
India is home to 3 of the 13 species of otters found worldwide-
Otter Species Distribution in India State Habitat
Eurasian Otter (Common Otter) Himalayas and Western Ghats CITES: Appendix I
WPA: Schedule II
IUCN: Near Threatened
Rivers and coastal region
Smooth-Coated Otter Found throughout the country from the Himalayas southward CITES Appendix II
WPA Schedule II
Seasonal swamps, rivers and rice paddies in most of India
Small-Clawed Otter Himalayas and Western Ghats CITES Appendix II
WPA Schedule I
IUCN: Near Threatened
Swamps, mangrove forest and freshwater wetlands of North east India, Kaziranga Tiger Reserve.
Threat: Extensive poaching, loss of wetland habitat and contamination of water is a threat to the species.
It is important to reinforce a sympathetic attitude towards the plight faced by the otters, through more research and conservation effort for this species.
Policy advocacy needs to be promoted in order to ensure long term survival of otters in their natural habitats and for their conservation. This is vital for understanding their population dynamics, and to plan species-oriented conservation programmes to strengthen more research and conservation effort for these species.
Tungabhadra Otter Reserve Sanctuary
Tungabhadra Rivers of Karnataka are home to smooth coated otters and also the state has India's first ever otter reserve as Tungabhadra Otter Reserve Sanctuary.
PEPPER IT WITH
WPA 1972, CITES,IUCN Classification,WWF