EURASIAN OTTER SIGHTED IN CHILIKA
What’s in news?
Eurasian Otter has been sighted for the first time in the Chilika lake.
- The otters were spotted during TFCP’s survey to camera trap the fishing cats in the fringe villages of Chilika covering an area of 1,070 sq km.
- The species has been found for the first time in eastern India.
- Confirmation: Presence of the species in the marshland was confirmed through camera traps and bycatch data used by The Fishing Cat Project (TFCP).
- What it tells? The Presence of the mammal species in the brackish water reflects the strong ecological conservation was carried out in the lake i.e. the lake is of pollution-free (pollution free water bodies are favourable habitat for such mammal).
About the Otter:
- Native to: It is a semi-aquatic mammal native to Eurasia.
- Other names: The species also known as European otter, Eurasian river otter, common otter and Old-world otter.
- Diet: Its diet is mainly comprising small animals – mainly crabs and small fishes.
- Distribution: Found throughout Europe and in Asia. In India, the species is distributed in the Himalayan foothills, southern Western Ghats and the central Indian landscape.
- Also found mainly in Europe, northern Africa and other south Asian countries.
- Its presence denotes: A growing or healthy population of otters means the water bodies are pollution-free. Clean water bodies mean a healthy ecosystem of the forest.
- Behaviour: It is nocturnal and strongly a territorial species. It can be diurnal in areas which are less disturbed.
- Threat: The threat for the mammal includes Road accidents, pollution of water bodies, poaching for pet trade.
- IUCN Red List:Near Threatened
- Placed in CITES (Appendix I), Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 (Schedule II).
The other two species;
- Smooth Coated Otter – Placed in CITES (Appendix II) and Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 (Schedule II).
- Clawless Otter – Placed in CITES (Appendix II) and Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 (Schedule I).
Otters in recent news:
For the first time, Uttar Pradesh is taking a census of otters in Pilibhit Tiger Reserve (PTR).
Links to note: