Species in News: Smooth-coated otters


  • Smooth-coated otters, a freshwater fish-loving animal seen near Mukkombu after a long break.

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About Smooth-coated otters

  • Listed as ‘Vulnerable’ on the IUCN Red List.
  • It is included in CITES Appendix I

    Smooth-coated otters
  • The animals commonly occur in shallow and placid waters such as wetlands and seasonal swamps, rivers, lakes, and rice paddies.
  • They are active during night and day, and are strong swimmers.
  • Known as neer naai (aquatic dogs) in Tamil, the animal plays an important role in controlling the population of fish in rivers.
  • The animals are also illegally hunted for their pelt.
  • In the Cauvery delta, the drying out of riverbeds in recent years has driven away these animals.
  • Besides the smooth-coated otter ( Lutra perspicillata), India is home to two more of the 13 species found worldwide. These are Eurasian Otter (L utra lutra) and Small-clawed otter (A onyx cinereus).

Source: TH

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