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Smooth-coated Otter
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  • Smooth-coated Otter : Conservation

    Lutragale perspicillata

    People everywhere!

    In southeast Asia the continued increase in human population puts the most pressure on the otters. Since much of the area is still very poor the people rely on natural resources such as fish, and have fished out many rivers and estuaries.

    The increased use of pesticides and other agricultural chemicals is also building up poisons in the river systems, leading to the same situation as England in the 1950s - the otters and other higher predators are being killed.

    Finally, hydroelectric dams, roads and other development projects to support growing human populations are also destroying many wetland habitats.

    All dried up

    The isolated otter population in Iraq was probably once much bigger. But drainage programs and damming have destroyed more than 90% of the marshes and wetlands which made up the Tigris - Euphrates river systems.