The Madhya Pradesh forest departments camera trap exercise in concert with NGO Wildlife Conservation Trust (WCT) has for the first time captured photographic evidence of the “near-threatened” Eurasian otter in Satpuda Tiger Reserve (STR) and Kanha-Pench corridor.
Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) found largely in Europe, Africa and Asia was believed to be existing in India along with the two other otter species smooth-coated (Lutrogale perspicillata) and Asian small-clawed (Aonyx cinerea).
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While the other two species are found at many places across India, the Eurasian otter was believed to exist in the Himalayan region and the Western Ghats. There, however, was no photographic evidence of it anywhere, a press note issued by the Madhya Pradesh forest department said.
“The camera trap exercise was undertaken over 5,800-sq-km area in the Satpuda hill ranges and Kanha-Pench corridor. The fascinating discovery was made during the exercise,” the note said.
The department attributes the existence of the rare specie and its actual sighting to the “large inviolate species created by the effort of the department to relocate 35 villages from the areas”.