IUCN Otter Specialist Group . . . leading global otter conservation Last Update: Thursday February 8, 2018
[Home] | [Site Map] | [Contact Us]
[Home] | [Members] | [News] | [Bulletin] | [Q & A] | [Species] | [Library]

IUCN/SCC Otter Specialist Group Bulletin

©IUCN/SCC Otter Specialist Group

Volume 34 Issue 2 (October 2017)


The Second Recent Record of Hairy-Nosed Otter (Lutra sumatrana) in Sabah, Malaysia
Pages 67 - 72 (Report)
Junichi Ishigami, Laurentius Nayan Ambu, Augustine Tuuga and Toshinori Tsubouchi

A Hairy-nosed Otter (Lutra sumatrana) was sighted and photographed in an area near the village of Dagat, Lower Segama, Sabah, Malaysia, on 16th April 2016. Available literature on L. sumatrana suggested that this is the second recent record in the state of Sabah, Malaysia. There are 12 confirmed specimen records collected from the island of Borneo. In the Sabah state, there are two specimen records which are from Mengalong River in 1876 and from Sandakan in 1880. All of recent specimen records from the island of Borneo are collected from Brunei Darussalam. In the Sabah state, the first recent record was in Deramakot Forest Reserve in 2010, camera trapped by the carnivores study spearheaded by the Sabah Wildlife Department. The Deramakot Forest Reserve is about 130km away from the present locality record. Due to the paucity of data on the species’s population status and its conservation status, it is highly suggested and timely that a state-wide survey of this species be undertaken in order to understand its population status, density and distribution in Sabah.
Contents | Full Text + Links | PDF (861 KB)

Reestablishment of Giant Otters in Habitats altered by the Filling of the Teles Pires Hydroelectric Dam in the Amazonia
Pages 73 - 78 (Report)
Analice Maria Calaça and Fabiano Rodrigues de Melo
Studies evaluating the influence of river damming on the behavior and distribution of giant otters are still scarce. Here we present temporal data on the influence of the filling of the Teles Pires Hydroelectric Power Plant reservoir in Mato Grosso State, Brazil, on the records of giant otters. No recent evidence of the presence of giant otters was obtained in the first four months after the beginning of the reservoir's filling. Eight months later, the first direct record of a group of three individuals was documented; one year and six months later, different types of direct and indirect records were documented including that of an active den, which is the main indicative of environment colonization by the species. The giant otters in this reservoir may benefit from the abundance increase in fish species observed in the short term after the dam construction. However, a reduction in prey diversity over the years may be a critical factor for the species' maintenance and survival.
Contents | Full Text + Links | PDF (381 KB)

Recent Seizures of Live Otters in Southeast Asia
Pages 80 - 83 (Short Note)
Lalita Gomez and Jamie Bouhuys
The recent spate of otter seizures in Southeast Asia highlight the potential threat of the pet trade on the Small-clawed Otter including the need to further investigate the source of otters in trade and its impact on wild populations.
Contents | Full Text + Links | PDF (34 KB)

Distribution of and Threats to the Eurasian Otter (Lutra lutra) in the Anzali Wetland, Iran
Pages 84 - 94 (Article)
Saeid Naderi, Alireza Mirzajani and Ehsan Hadipour
The Anzali wetland, located in the south of the Caspian Sea, is considered as one of the most important freshwater ecosystems in that region. It consists of lagoons, marshes, temporary flooded grasslands, ten bigger rivers, fifteen tributary rivers and 550 fish farms. Throughout 2015, otters were surveyed there by searching for tracks and spraints, and also by using rafts, camera traps and interviews with fish farmers. Otter distribution was found to be not uniform and there are also obvious temporal changes of presence. It is more frequent in quiet and less polluted areas with enough food availability. Open water bodies aren't used away from the banks, and edges with weedy vegetation, particularly reeds, are not attractive to this species. These nocturnal animals were observed solitary or in groups of up to three individuals. Signs of otter pups, as the indicator of reproduction, were recorded in August and September. However, environmental degradation, eutrophication and other pollutants in the Anzali wetland threatens the Eurasian Otter population, but it seems that the most important negative factor is casualties caused by conflicts with fisheries and aquacultural activities. The presence of otters was reported by 67% of the fish pond owners around the Anzali wetland. The Eurasian otter population in some regions of the Anzali wetland is very fragile and it seems it is a "threatened" species there. Knowledgeable management of recovery of different habitats and decreasing conflicts with humans is crucial for conservation of this important species in the Anzali wetland.
Contents | Full Text + Links | PDF (772 KB)

Historical and Current Distribution of Smooth Coated Otter Lutrogale perspicillata in Gujarat, India
Pages 95 - 103 (Article)
Akshit R. Suthar, Jagruti Y. Rathod, Ishani B. Patel, Deepa J. Gavali and Jayendra Lakhmapurkar
Three species of otter are found in India, out of them only smooth coated otter Lutrogale perspicillata is reported in Gujarat. An extensive literature review was carried out to understand the historical distributions of species, to record current distribution and status; some potential sites and habitat were identified through detail survey. Available literature indicated presence of Otter in 11 different sites distributed in Central, south and north Gujarat. However, present distribution is restricted to Mahi, Narmada and Purna Rivers. Different direct and indirect observation methods including direct sighting, observing trails, tracks and burrows were applied. Survey along the Purna River indicated presence of burrows and direct sightings were reported. However in-depth study is required to ascertain the exact population of otter and threats to the species. Habitat fragmentation, lack of awareness and deficiency of baseline data on status, distribution and ecology of species is constraint of its conservation in Gujarat. Some long term monitoring, habitat restoration and awareness programs to involving relevant stakeholders should be initiated to ensure the survival of species in Gujarat.
Contents | Full Text + Links | PDF (407 KB)

Illegal Otter Trade: An Analysis of Seizures in Selected Asian Countries (1980-2015) - Summary
Pages 104 - 114 (Report)
Lalita Gomez, Boyd T.C. Leupen, Meryl Theng, Katrina Fernandez and Melissa Savage

This study is an analysis of records of the seizure of otters by law enforcement agencies in selected Asian countries between 1980 and July 2015. The study was undertaken to understand the extent and scale of the illegal otter trade in Asia, and focussed on four Asian otter species i.e., the eurasian otter (Lutra lutra), hairy-nosed otter (Lutra sumatrana), small-clawed otter (Aonyx cinereus), and the smooth-coated otter (Lutrogale perspicillata). All four species were documented in illegal trade, with 161 recorded otter seizures across 15 countries in Asia between 1980 and 2015, involving an estimated 5881 individuals. Otter skins constituted the majority of the seizures, particularly in India, Nepal and China. Since early 2000s, there seems to be a rising demand for otter pups for the pet trade, particularly in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Viet Nam. While seizure records as a whole were scarce across the region, we conclude that illegal otter trade is persistent and largely unchecked, despite otter species being legally protected across their range.
Contents | Full Text + Links | PDF (353 KB)

Return to Contents