Asian Short-Clawed Otter
The Asian short-clawed otter can be found in freshwater wetlands and mangrove swamps, in southern India to southern China and the Malay Peninsula.
Being carnivores, they eat fish, crabs, molluscs and snails. They may even prey on insects, snakes, lizards and some small species of rodent.
These otters are the smallest species of otter in the world, and they also spend more time on land than others. With excellent vision both above and below the water, these otters also have a strong tail which will act as a rudder to help them steer themselves through the water when swimming. Their waterproof fur, nimble short fingers, sensitive whiskers and webbed feet help them to find food in streams and paddy fields.
Very few species of otter are social, but the Asian short-clawed otter form strong bonds, mating for life and both the male and female will help to raise the young. A litter of pups are born and are raised by the alpha male and female, with the help of juvenile otters in the group.
Habitat destruction, water pollution and over fishing has led to the rapid decline in numbers of wild short-clawed otters. They are now classed as a Vulnerable species.
- Latin Name: Aonyx cinerea
- Class: Mammals
- Order: Carnivora
- Family: Mustelidae
- Conservation Status: Vulnerable
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