Otters

Otters are the only truly aquatic members of the weasel family.


Due to ongoing habitat loss, pollution and hunting in some areas, the Asian short-clawed otter is evaluated as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

  • Least Concern
  • Near Threatened
  • Vulnerable
  • Endangered
  • Critically Endangered
  • Extinct in the Wild
  • Extinct

The Asian Small-clawed Otter is the smallest otter in the world. They are especially distinct in their forepaws, as the claws do not extend above the fleshy end pads of their toes and fingers. Their forepaws are extremely sensitive allowing them to search for food by touch alone. Otters are very vocal, with a large repertoire of calls.

Key Facts

Family:
Mustelidae along with skunks, weasels and ferrets.
Diet:
Crustaceans, snails, amphibians, small mammals, birds.
Life Span:
approx 10-15 years in the wild - up to 20 years in captivity.
Distribution:
South Asia, near streams and mangroves.
Did you know?
Asian short-clawed otters can hold their breath under water for around 6-8 minutes!

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