Asian small clawed otter distribution

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Asian small-clawed otter

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As well as its size, the Asian short-clawed otter can be distinguished from other otters by its small claws, after which it is named, and the incomplete webbing between digits. These tiny claws, which do not protrude beyond the ends of the fingers, enhance the manual dexterity of this otter as it handles prey.

Distribution Asian otter small clawed

The Asian short-clawed otter typically has brown fur with a paler underside, although cream-coloured individuals have also been known. The edges of the upper lip, chin, throat, sides of neck and face are generally greyish-whit. Like other otters, the Asian short-clawed otter has a small head, short legs and flattened tail, creating a streamlined silhouette that can move easily through the water. Up to 5kg Taken from http: Oxford University Press, Oxford. They can also be found in man-made areas such as irrigated rice fields and will move between areas of reeds and river debris where crabs may be found.

They prefer vegetated areas that provide cover over bare and open areas.

This xistribution spends the majority of its time on land which is dietribution when compared to other otter species. Otters have two types of fur: Asian small-clawed otters have flattened heads and short, thick necks; eyes are located toward the front of the head. The ears are small and rounded and have a valve-like structure that enables them to be closed when swimming underwater. Nose pads are dusky or pinkish in color. The muzzle has vibrissae on either side.

These are sensitive to touch and to Asiwn vibrations, and are Asain in detecting the movements of prey. Similar claawed other otters, Asian small-clawed otters have relatively short legs, which are used to swim, walk, groom and manipulate prey. Feet are very narrow and only webbed to the last joint, oter feature which distinguishes the Asian small-clawed otter from all other species of otter. These partially clawer paws give them an excellent sense of touch and coordination, providing them with more dexterity than other otters with full webbing. Unlike other otters, they catch their prey with their paws instead of with their mouth.

Their small, blunt, peg-like claws are extremely reduced and rarely extend past the tips of the digits. The mother is usually killed to get the cubs and if the pet dies a replacement is simply bought. Otters also feature in some circuses, including travelling circuses which increases the appeal to the public. Read more about the illegal trade in otters in the IOSF report. Solutions For any conservation programme to be successful it must be founded on recent sound scientific data obtained by trained professional researchers.

Conservation programmes are far more effective when organised by local people but in Asia there are very few scientists working on otters and their habitats. IOSF is therefore working to provide a series of workshops to train more people from the region in otter field techniques, public awareness programmes, law enforcement and general conservation issues.

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Local government personnel are also invited to attend to encourage better law enforcement and otter protection. The first workshop was held in Cambodia inwhich was extremely successful and its impact is ongoing in the community. This led to the demand for workshops in other parts of Asia and so similar events have been held in Indonesia, Bangladesh and China. You can read the reports on these workshop here. Asian Otter Conservation Network Following the workshops networks have been set up to co-ordinate research and enable people to act quickly should any otter cubs be in need of care.

Group sizes of more than 20 animals have been recorded. These otters are extremely manually dextrous, using their forepaws to feel for molluscs and crustaceans in rocks, vegetation and mud. They are the least aquatic of all the otters. They demonstrate a high climatic and trophic adaptability, occurring from tropical coastal wetlands up to mountain streams. They make use of freshwater and peat swamp forests, rice fields, lakes, streams, reservoirs, canals, drainage ditches, rice paddies, mangroves, tidal pools, and along the coastline.

In mountainous areas, they frequent swift-flowing forest streams with rocks and boulders.

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