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Biology and Ecology of Asian Small-Clawed Otter Aonyx cinereus (Illiger, 1815): A Review

Author(s): Syed Ainul Hussain | Sandeep Kumar Gupta | Padma Kumari de Silva

Journal: IUCN Otter Specialist Group Bulletin
ISSN 1023-9030

Volume: 28;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 63;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: Asian small-clawed otter | species range | --- biology | ecology | habitat | genetics | conservation

The Asian small-clawed otter is the smallest among the 13 extant species of otters. It has a large distribution range extending from India in South Asia through Southeast Asia up to Taiwan and Philippines in the east and Southern China in the north. It is considered ‘Vulnerable’ due to habitat loss and degradation, depletion of prey species and exploitation. Being adapted to live in shallow streams and water bodies, they are more vulnerable to modification of these habitats by anthropogenic as well as climate change impacts. This paper summarizes the state of knowledge on the biology and ecology of this little known species. Over the years, the IUCN SSC Otter Specialist Group has developed a cadre of biologist across Asia to conduct field surveys and has popularized otter conservation by promoting otter as the ambassador of wetlands. However, concerted effort is needed for its long-term survival. Policy based action, research on factors affecting survival, habitat-based actions on creation and where required expansion of protected areas and communication and awareness building among local communities are suggested.
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