IUCN Otter Specialist Group . . . leading global otter conservation Last Update: Sunday March 18, 2018
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IUCN/SCC Otter Specialist Group Bulletin

©IUCN/SCC Otter Specialist Group

Volume 35 Issue 1 (January 2018)


Notes on Population Status and Feeding Behaviour of Asian Small-Clawed Otter (Aonyx cinereus) in the Sundarbans Mangrove Forest of Bangladesh
Pages 3 - 10 (Report)
M. Abdul Aziz

Very little information is available on population status, distribution and ecology of Asian Small-clawed Otter, Aonyx cinereus in Bangladesh. By surveying approximately 351 km of water courses in the Bangladesh Sundarbans, 53 individuals of this otter were recorded in 13 groups, with a mean group size of 4.08± SE 1.13. Mean encounter rate of combined sighting, footprint, and spraint was 0.06/km of rivers surveyed, with higher abundance along the eastern regions of the Sundarbans. Otters were found predominantly feeding on mudskippers (Periophthalmus sp.) on the exposed river mudflats, particularly during ebb tide. The chemical pollution in watercourses by several recent cargo incidents within the Bangladesh Sundarbans might have adversely affected otter populations. Systematic otter surveys are needed for a rigorous population assessment to guide conservation effort, and to monitor ecosystem health of the Sundarbans.
Contents | Full Text + Links | PDF (524 KB)

Feeding Ecology and Spraint Deposition Sites of the Neotropical Otter (Lontra longicaudis) at Cavernas do Peruaçu National Park, Brazil
Pages 11 - 21 (Article)
Fernando Ferreira de Pinho, Guilherme Braga Ferreira and Izabela Menezes Barata

Knowledge on the feeding ecology and habitat use of a species is of essential value for effective conservation. We describe the diet and spraints deposition sites for the Neotropical otter (Lontra longicaudis) at Cavernas do Peruaçu National Park, in south eastern Brazil. We collected spraints and recorded characteristics of the deposition sites from 2007–2010. We described otter diet as the number of faeces in which a given taxon was found and the frequency of occurrence of each taxon. We collected 57 spraints and identified 92 food items from nine different taxa, all from animal origin. Fish was the most frequent taxon, found in 98.3% of our samples, followed by arthropods (22.8%) and mammals (10.5%). We recorded 112 spraint deposition sites, most of them located in caves (80%) and <10 m from the water (93.4%). In our study area the Neotropical otter relies heavily on fish, and we believe that the behaviour of some fish species makes them more vulnerable to predation. Habitat use by otters has important management implications for the national park, as caves are the main tourist attraction and some tourist tracks are located next to the river. Although a well-implemented management action might seem enough to avoid negative impacts of tourism, we believe that monitoring the Neotropical otter population in our study area is of major conservation concern to evaluate the impacts of this activity.
Contents | Full Text + Links | PDF (525 KB)

A National Survey of the Eurasian Otter (Lutra lutra L., 1758) in Mongolia
Pages 22 - 30 (Report)
Setev Shar, Ravchig Samiya, Bazartseren Boldgiv and Melissa Savage
A survey for otters across Mongolia was conducted in 2012 to document the status and distribution range of the Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra Linnaeus, 1758), and to propose the scientific basis for government policies to protect the species. We report results from the first survey of otter since the late 1980s (Stubbe et al., 1989), with new records emerged after 2012. The species is very rarely reported in the country, but in addition to an actual sighting of this species, the survey team observed a limited number of otter sign, including tracks, scat, ice diving holes, snow diving marks, snow wallows, territorial marks, and prey remains at widely distributed sites. We recommend a set of strategies to expand conservation for the Eurasian otter in Mongolia.
Contents | Full Text + Links | PDF (320 KB)

Photographic Documentation and Distribution of Smooth-Coated Otter (Lutrogale perspicillata) (Geoffroy 1826) in Surat, Gujarat
Pages 31 - 36 (Report)
Krunal Trivedi and Prashant Joshi

A group of Smooth-coated otter (Lutrogale perspicillata GEOFFROY 1826) was sighted at Gavier lake of Nature Club Surat. This group of otter was documented by Nature Club Surat with the help of camera traps. Nature Club Surat has also identified five other sites where indirect signs of otters were found. In March 2014 otters were sighted for the first time in Gavier Lake but no photographic evidences were found at that time. (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/surat/Endangered-otters-back-in-Gavier-lake/articleshowprint/31931076.cms?null). According to presently available data and information of Gujarat State Forest Department, smooth-coated otters are only found in Narmada River system and surrounding water sources such as wetlands, lakes, canals and streams.
Contents | Full Text + Links | PDF (737 KB)

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