Asian Short-Clawed Otters
|Otters are mustelids - the same family as weasels, badgers and skunks!
|Protection of native otters since the 1980's has enabled them to bounce back from |
drastic population declines in many parts of the UK.
|The South-West is a stronghold area for native otters,
but even here, |
many otters are killed each year on our roads.
|The Asian Short-Clawed Otter is the smallest otter species - only about the size of a domestic cat. |
The largest otter is the giant South American otter, which may be up to 10 times heavier!
|Otters have a double protection against the elements - thick underfur keeps the warmth in, and long guard hairs keeps water out.
|Although Asian Short-Clawed Otters are not the best swimmers amongst otters, |
they are still good enough to be used by Asian fisherman to help catch fish!
|Asian Short-Clawed Otters are extremely social and vocal, |
living in large family groups and communicating with 12 or more call types.
|Asian Short-Clawed Otters eat a lot of different foods in the wild,|
including crabs, snails, crayfish, clams, frogs and small fish.
|The dextrous, sensitive front paws of Asian short-clawed otters are used to rummage|
for prey in mud and shallow water and even to juggle their food!
|Although many otter species can be found in coastal habitats, |
only the Pacific Sea Otter Enhydra lutris is a true marine mammal, 365 days a year!
|Wild otters are threatened by many human activities,|
especially those that destroy habitat and pollute the environment.