Asian Small-Clawed Otter : Conservation
You want the bad news?
As with other types of otters, destruction of their wetland habitat is a major threat to this species. Deforestation for agriculture and human settlement leads to water pollution and a reduction in good habitat and prey species. Other threats include illegal hunting for their durable fur and fish traps which catch and drown otters.
The conservation status of the Asian short-clawed otters is "Vulnerable" in most of its range, because although it has a wide distribution populations are falling everywhere. These otters were originally kept in zoos as a model for captive breeding of endangered social otters, i.e. Giant Brasilian and Cape clawless otters. Unfortunately, since that time, the Asian short-clawed otters have themselves become threatened with extinction.
Where we are
We need more protected areas for these otters. We also need more information on the species in general. Thankfully, more focus has been given to these otters in the last few years. And of course, there are lots and lots of them in zoos because they are so cute!