Smooth Coated Otter

smooth-coated-otter

Size

This species can reach lengths of 1.3m and can weigh up to 11kg.

Habitat and Distribution

This species only lives in fresh water habitats such as peat swamps, forest rivers, rice paddies and lakes. They can generally be found in areas where there is not a lot of human habitation. This is an Asian Otter which can be found throughout much of Southern Asia with a small isolated population in marshes throughout Iraq.

Diet

The bulk of their diet is made up of fresh water fish and reptiles however they will also eat small birds, rodents, insects, crustaceans and amphibians.

Groups and Breeding

There are big differences in the times during which these animals breed both in the wild and in captivity. In areas where there are no monsoon seasons they may breed at any time, however in areas which are hit by monsoons, they will breed towards the end of this season, with their young being ready for birth after a gestation of 61 – 65 days after the weather has subsided. They may give birth to 2 to 5 young per year, and the mating pair will often form a strong bond, staying together for most of their lives.

Threats

These Otters are classed as Vulnerable due to a number of factors including the decline in wet land habitat through their range, increased contamination of fresh water ways with pesticides and a continued trade in their fur (leading to wide spread poaching).