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