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Eurasian Otter Spotted in Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary, Kerala


Why is it in the news?

  • Recently, the Eurasian Otter (Lutra lutra) was spotted for the first time in the state of Kerala, at the Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary in Idukki.

About Eurasian Otter

  • A semi-aquatic carnivorous mammal.
  • Displays shy and nocturnal behaviour, often active during nighttime.
  • Flourishes in a range of aquatic environments, encompassing highland and lowland lakes, rivers, streams, marshes, swamp forests, and coastal areas.
  • Classified as “Near Threatened” on the IUCN list, signalling a species at risk of becoming endangered.
  • Holds legal protection in India as it is listed under Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972.
  • Recognized internationally under Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
  • Kerala is home to three distinct otter species, with the Eurasian Otter being one of them. The other two are the Smooth-coated Otter and the Small-clawed Otter.

About Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 Situated in the Idukki District of Kerala.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 Occupies a significant portion of the protected forests in the Annamalai hills, sharing borders with Tamil Nadu.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 Diverse landscape characterized by rocky terrains, hillocks, and valleys.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 Shares boundaries with the Kodaikanal Wildlife Sanctuary to the East and the Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary to the North.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 Encompasses varied ecosystems, including dry deciduous forests, wet grasslands, high sholas, dry thorny scrub forests, and riparian forests.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 Major rivers flowing through the sanctuary include Chinnar and Pambar.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 Boasts a rich biodiversity with around 1000 species of flowering plants, including rare and unique species such as Elaeocarpus recurvatus, Arabica, Acacia leucophloea, Santalum album, and Neelakurinji.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 Provides a habitat for endangered species like the Grizzled Giant Squirrel, Gaur, Rusty-Spotty Cat, Sambar, Nilgiri Tahr, Bonnet Macaques, Tufted Grey Langur, Spotted Deer, and more.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 A diversity of bird species, including Black Eagle, Yellow-throated Bulbuls, Grey Heron, Serpent Eagle, Little Egret, etc.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 Abundance of butterflies, fishes, reptiles, and various insects.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 Notably, the sanctuary serves as the only rehabilitation centre for the Indian Star Tortoise in India.

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