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Did you know?

Their ears are small and, like their nostrils, can be closed while the animal swims under water

Quick Facts

Weight: 4.5kgs

Size: 61cms

Number of offspring: 1-6 pups

Gestation: 2-3 months

Maturity: 18 months

Lifespan: 15-20yrs

Predators: TO DO

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Asian small-clawed otter

TO DO

Habitat

Asian small-clawed otters are found in southern India, southern China, Southeast Asia, Indonesia and the Philippines. These otters live in small streams, rivers, marshes, rice paddies, seacoasts and in mangroves. They share their habitat with three other species of otter: Eurasian, smooth coated and hairy nosed.

Natural behavior

Small-clawed Otters are extremely social animals. They live in extended family groups of up to 15 individuals. Males and females form very close pairs, and will work together to raise their pups. Otters communicate with a wide range of calls, including different sounds for greeting, playing, courting and even a special call for raising the alarm! The otter’s great sense of smell allows them to communicate using scent marks. Common latrines are used as a big smelly communication zone as well as a marker of the group’s territory

Description

These otters have dark brown fur above and lighter fur below, often with gray, white, or cream-colored markings on the face and throat. They have webbed feet, and true to their name, their claws do not extend beyond their digital pads.

Distribution

Free-living herds have been established in U.S, Canada, Europe, UK, West Indies, South America, South Africa, Madagascar, New Zealand, Fiji and Australia

Diet

Ruminant; browsing on a wide variety of grasses, herbs, forbs, sedges, but also commonly browse on trees and shrubs, young shoots, beet mast, chestnuts, acorns, roots, flowers, bark, moss, fungi, dried leaves and lichens

Reproduction

Mating occurs annually during the breeding season, also known as ‘rut’. Males spend most of their time establishing territories and will approach females, sniffing and licking to determine if a female is in estrus. Birthing occurs in a hiding place and females don’t immediately rejoin the herd after birth

Social structure

Seasonal variations in group size. A doe herd normally consists of females and their current offspring and sub adults. Mature males form bachelor groups. For a considerable part of the year, the herds live separately, coming together for the autumn rut.

Threats

Relatively free from major disease. Hunted by humans