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Asian Small-Clawed Otter
  • Characteristics
  • Distribution
  • Lifestyle
  • Diet
  • Conservation
  • Asian Small-Clawed Otter : Distribution

    Aonyx Cinerea

    Where in the world...

    This species of otter is found in southern India, southeast China, Southeast Asia, Indonesia, the Malay peninsula and the Philippines. Though it is widespread and common in parts of its range, its distribution is poorly known or unknown in several countries. In fact, its range is thought to be shrinking but it has never been fully investigated.

    The Asian small-clawed otter is also one of the most familiar species as it is often kept in zoos and wildlife parks - there are over 100 around the world. Their sociable, curious and playful nature (not to mention their incurable cuteness!) make them the perfect exhibits. They are also diurnal, which means that they are active during the day.

    Wet is it?

    The small-clawed otter live in a wide range of habitats where there is permanent water and some tree cover, places such as freshwater wetlands (rivers, lakes, estuaries, coastal waters), mangrove swamps and paddy fields. They are also often seen on the banks of larger rivers though they seldom venture into deep water.

    They spend more time on land than many types of otters, though they may flee into water in times of danger. This is because, being smaller, they lose heat easily in the water - in fact, scientific analysis have shown that the metabolic rate of a swimming Asian otter is larger than other, larger otter species.

    Real estate

    The Asian otters live in large, underground burrows with a ventilation shaft which lead to the surface. There is usually an exit tunnel opening about 3 feet under water.