MP: Study Of Eurasian Otters Sheds Light On Distribution And Habitat

MP: Study Of Eurasian Otters Sheds Light On Distribution And Habitat

WCT conducting study in Satpura Tiger Reserve

Staff ReporterUpdated: Friday, April 12, 2024, 12:05 AM IST
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MP: Study Of Eurasian Otters Sheds Light On Distribution And Habitat |

Bhopal/ Narmadapuram: To understand the distribution of Eurasian Otters with changing water availability across multiple seasons, Wildlife Conservation Trust in collaboration with Madhya Pradesh forest department had initiated a study in Satpura Tiger Reserve in 2019.

The officers are hopeful to get more factual data about the habitat and living habits of Otters which are of rare species.

Interacting with the Free Press, Satpura Tiger Reserve field director L Krishnamurthy said that the study is going to help a lot in knowing about the distribution and habitat of Otters.

The study focuses on understanding the distribution of Eurasian Otters with changing water availability across multiple seasons. It also focuses on hydrological monitoring of key forest rivers across multiple seasons to assess water flow with changing seasons and rainfall patterns. Along with this, focus is on radio telemetry of the Eurasian otter to know about their ecology and conservation needs.

The study paper, which is in possession of Free Press, says that three species of Otters are known to be present in India-the Smooth Coated Otter, the Asian Small Clawed Otter and the Eurasian Otter.

Out of these three, the smooth coated Otter is the most widely distributed in India, with several well documented records. The Asian small clawed otter is patchily distributed and found in the Himalayan foothills in northern India, parts of the Eastern Ghats and southern Western ghats.

Except for the smooth coated otter, there was no evidence of the other two otter species from Central India till 2016.

In 2016, the first photographic evidence of the Eurasian otter was recorded in Satpura Tiger Reserve, extending the geographical range of the species to central India. This recent discovery of Eurasian Otters in river systems in Madhya Pradesh is a reminder of limited knowledge of freshwater species in India.

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