Eurasian Otter

Prelims level : Environment Mains level : GS-III Environment; Biodiversity
No Set Found with this ID

Why in News?

  • The first photographic record of the Eurasian Otter was caught on the infrared camera along the Neeru stream in Jammu and Kashmir.

 Eurasian Otter:

  • Eurasian Otter (Lutra lutra) is an elusive semi-aquatic carnivorous mammal species.
  • The Eurasian Otter has one of the widest distributions as its range covers three continents (Europe, Asia and Africa).
  • In India, Eurasian otters are found across the northern, northeast and southern parts of India.
  • The Eurasian Otters have short limbs, brown fur, and sensitive whiskers near the snout that help detect prey.
  • They also have webbed feet and claws and the ability to close the small ears and the nose when underwater which has helped them adapt to an aquatic lifestyle.
  • Eurasian Otters are usually nocturnal in nature and can be found near freshwater environments such as lakes, rivers, streams, marshes, and swamp forests.
  • The diet of Eurasian Otters includes fish, crustaceans, amphibians, birds, eggs, insects and worms.
  • Eurasian Otter is regarded as a flagship species and an indicator of high-quality aquatic habitats.

Conservation status:

  • IUCN RedList: Near threatened
  • Wildlife Protection Act, 1972: Schedule II
  • CITES: Appendix I

Neeru stream:

  • Neeru river is located in Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The Neeru stream is a tributary of the Chenab river.
  • Neeru is a 30-km perennial stream that originates in the Kailash Lake at 3,900 metres above mean sea level and drains into the Chenab at Pul-Doda in the Doda district.
  • The presence of Eurasian Otters is encouraging for the health of the Neeru stream.
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