Species Survival Commission of the World Conservation Union (IUCN/SSC) Otter Specialist Group (Asian Section)


IUCN/SSC Otter Specialist Group


Links - Literature - - Xth Otter Colloquim (Oct 2007)

Fri 13 Apr 2007

Otter Specialist Group Bulletin: Vol 23 (Oct 2006) online

Category : publications

Scientists, managers and conservationists around the world studying otters and providing to the World Conservation Union (IUCN) are in a specialist group of their own callled the Otter Specialist Group (OSG). The Bulletin, which started in 1986, is an important communication tool for the group and is maintained by Arno Gutleb.

The difficulties in funding the publication were overcome by going electronic in 2006. The OSG webpage now hosts an excellent repository - copies of bulletin dating back to 1986. The Otter Specialist webpage at otterspecialistgroup.org was taken over by Lesley Wright and has a a clean interface,easy to read text and just enough colour to be attractive. Lovely!

Editor Arno Gutleb and webmaster Lesley Wright have just announced the availability of last year's issue online: click to see ">Vol 23 (Oct 2006).

Issue 24 is currently under preparation and Arno welcomes submisssions. See the guidelines for authors.

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Fri 23 Mar 2007

Cute Otters features photos and videos of otters worldwide!

Category : captive

Cute Otters has been featuring "pictures & videos of the world's cutest animal, the otter," since Peter who started the site says "I've always thought that otters were the cutest animal on the earth so I thought I'd dedicate a whole web site to them. This site is also to bring awareness of sea otters being on the endangered species list."

Peter is scanning the web for otter pictures and videos from webpage and blogs and people are also sending him images. He has an RSS feed, so its a wonderful resource!

However, he doesn't usually provide a common or scientific name of the species featured, so you have to figure that out for yourself, perhaps with some help from online resources!

Do also remember that Asian small-clawed otters are common in non-Asian zoos and that there are no native otters in Australia and New Zealand! Well, have some fun doing that!

Photo by Andy Critchfield, taken at London Zoo.

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Fri 23 Mar 2007

Satu, Dua, Tiga & Empat - Singapore Zoo's Small-clawed otters at Monterey Bay Aquarium

Category : captive

"Wild about Otters" is a new exhibit that will open on 31 Mar 2007 in Monterey Bay Aquarium, California. It will feature African spotted-neck otters (Lutra maculicollis) and Asian small-clawed otters (Amblonyx cinerea).

"Wild About Otters features six African spotted-necked otters (including two young pups) and four Asian small-clawed otters in exhibits that represent their native lake and river habitats. Both species are sleek, curious and very active. Visitors are likely to see an entertaining range of behaviors, from elaborate water play to ambush games.

The $3.6 million special exhibition, which is scheduled to continue into 2010, shows how wild otters - just like the aquarium's ever-popular sea otters and like people around the world - need clean water to thrive and survive. ...

Visitors to Wild About Otters will meet one family and one pair of African spotted-necked otters - Denny and Neema and their two pups (Kazana and Ajabu) and Kipenzi and Kamili - as well as two sets of Asian small-clawed otter brothers: Satu and Dua, and Tiga and Empat ("one," "two" "three" and "four" in the Malay language).

The aquarium acquired the adult otters as part of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums' (AZA) Species Survival Plan program (SSP), a cooperative effort among AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums to ensure the survival of threatened and endangered wildlife species through breeding programs, research, public education, reintroduction and field projects.

Visitors will quickly learn personal details about the lives of the ten freshwater otters via interactive graphic panels at the live exhibits. Each panel tells the otters' personal stories through caretaker's journals, video and still images, touchable models and other displays.


While Asian small-clawed otters are more common at American zoos and aquariums, they're always visitor favorites. Wild About Otters features two sets of brothers - 4 and 5 years old, respectively - that are on loan from the Singapore Zoo.

"I wanted a bachelor group because of their energy level and amazing social behavior," Jeffries said. "These boys are active, kinetic and very vocal."


One large and colorful gallery of interactive displays introduces visitors to all 13 species of otters found throughout the world - from the giant otter of South America to the feisty North American river otter - and the characteristics unique to each species. Highlights include a special mirror that lets visitors see themselves as a hairy-nosed otter; a life-sized model of and audio clips of sounds made by a giant otter; a crawl-through tangle of mangrove roots, and video clips showing the difference between skill-building and play behaviors in North American river otters.

Other live exhibits in Wild About Otters explore African lake and Asian river habitats teeming with life, from feathery water plants and ferns, to slender vine snakes, exotic frogs and a rainbow of tropical freshwater fishes, many of which will be familiar to home aquarists - including cichlids, bettas, tetras, catfish, rasboras and gouramis.

One sure favorite will be the archerfish exhibit. These angular silver and black striped fish spit water to dislodge unwary prey from trees and plants above the water's surface - sometimes scoring a hit at distances up to four feet away! This exhibit is designed so visitors can watch this remarkable behavior.

Another highlight: the exhibit of Asian vine snakes, where sleek, bright green snakes live in trees but eat fish that they capture by plunging their heads into water. This exhibit, too, is designed so visitors can watch them hunt.

In a Discovery Art Room, visitors can create detailed scrapbooks as souvenirs of their Wild About Otters experience using stamps that depict images of freshwater otters and other animals that share their habitats, like hippos, crocodiles and egrets. A live exhibit features exotic Asian frogs, such as the Vietnamese giant tree frog, Bornean horned frog, Chinese gliding frog, White's tree frog or Vietnamese mossy frog.

Click for more information about Wild About Otters."

Monterey Bay Aquarium Press Release, via HappyNews.com

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Fri 06 Oct 2006

10th International Otter Colloquim, 10-16 Oct 2007

Category : meetings

The World Conservation Union's (IUCN) Otter Specialist Group holds an International Otter Colloquium every three years. It is the most important opportunity for researchers and NGOs who perform various activities about otters to exchange useful information.

In the coming year, the 10th colloquium is going to be held in Hwacheon, Gangwon, South Korea, from 10th to 16th October 2007. It is organised by the Han Sung-Yong of the Korean Otter Research Center.

See the 10th International Otter Colloquim webpage.

The banner link will be up on this page until the meeting is over.

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Fri 06 Oct 2006

Otter Specialist Group webpage - species accounts

Category : news

The latest version of the Otter Specialist Group's webpage has accounts of the 13 indiviual species of otters.

The four species in Asia are listed as:

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Fri 06 Oct 2006

Otter Specialist Group webpage relaunched!

Category : news

21 Sep 2006 - The IUCN Otter Specialist Group (OSG) relaunched its web site today. Speaking of the launch of the new web, Dr. Jim Conroy, the Chairman of the IUCN OSG said:

"The reappearance of the OSG Website means that once again people interested in otters can find an important source of information. Not only will it be a means of disseminating information to those working on these charismatic species, it will also be a source of information for the wider general public.

However, I see a new and important role of our web site - the ability, through these Press Releases, to keep people well informed about ongoing events that might affect otters, such as the effect of an oil spill."

In addition to giving the usual back ground information on the worlds otters, it will also keep interested parties up to date with news items. The OSG web will be the channel to advertise the meetings and conferences held every year, to reach the wider community. It will also give up to date information on published works on the various species and where copies of these might be obtained.

In addition the web page will be the home of OSGs own bulletin where members and others are encouraged to publish the results of their own studies. Many past copies of the Bulletin are currently available on the site, and there is an ongoing project to digitize the rest.

Source: OSG press release.

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Mon 11 Apr 2005

Delhi police recover leopard, otter skins

Category : trade

"Delhi police recover leopard, otter skins." NDTV Correspondent. 07 Apr 2005.

New Delhi - Delhi police have seized a consignment of 45 leopard skins and 14 otter skins.

The Delhi police received a tip off from one of their sources that this consignment was on it's way to Nepal. From there it would probably have gone to Tibet and then on to China.

Three people, one Tibetan and two Nepalis, have been placed under arrest. But they were just the couriers.

Most of the skins had signatures in Tibetan script on them and were in very good condition.

"The signatures mean that the skins have been checked for quality and are ready to be sent abroad. That's how it works as somebody is sent down to ensure the skins are genuine and then the consignment is passed," said Belinda Wright, Wildlife Protection Society of India.

The whole consignment would have been worth around Rs 50 lakhs in the international market. It's now for the police and Forest Department to investigate how many people were involved in this racket.

In the last couple of years, Delhi has emerged as a major centre for wildlife trade in the country and there are already 240 wildlife crime cases registered here.

It's only through concerted efforts like these by the police that wildlife trade can be tackled.

(c) 2004 NDTV. All rights reserved.

Thanks to Debby Ng for the alert.

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Fri 08 Apr 2005

Dalai Lama Campaigns For Wildlife

Category : trade

"Dalai Lama Campaigns For Wildlife." BBC News, 6th April 2005

The Dalai Lama has called for an end to illegal wildlife trafficking between Nepal, Tibet, India and China. He is appealing to exiled Tibetans, who are increasingly involved in the bloody trade, to remember their dedication to Buddhist non-violence.

Last year, Tibetan officials intercepted 32 tiger, 579 leopard and 665 otter skins in one single shipment. This prompted the Dalai Lama and a pair of wildlife charities to launch an awareness drive around the Himalayas.

"We Tibetans are basically Buddhists, we preach love and compassion towards all other living beings on Earth," said the exiled Tibetan leader. "Therefore it is the responsibility of all of us to realise the importance of wildlife conservation."

The Dalai Lama is working with the charities Care for the Wild International (CWI), from the UK, and the Wildlife Trust of India, to promote an understanding of the damage illegal trading can cause.


See also: Capacity 2015 Asia Case Study: Evaluation of the Transboundary Meetings Between India and Nepal with a Focus on Illegal Wildlife Trade. UNDP Capacity Development.

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Last updated: 16 July, 2005 1:29 AM