Eurasian Otter Spotted In Odisha’s Chilika, The First In Eastern India

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Bhubaneswar: Here’s something to cheer about for the wildlife lover of Odisha! In a first for eastern India, Eurasian Otter has been sighted in the marshland around Chilika lake.

The presence of the semi-aquatic mammal native to Eurasia was confirmed through camera traps place for over 300 nights and bycatch data used by the Fishing Cat Project (TFCP) during a survey in the fringe villages of Chilika, spread over 1.070 sq km.

It is an indication of strong ecological conservation in the brackish water lagoon, experts opined.

“This is a significant development as very little is know about the distribution of these endangered species,” said International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Otter Specialist Nisarg Prakash.

The fishing cat majorly hunts in water. It has specialized features like partially webbed feet and a water-resistant fur that helps it to thrive in wetlands. This makes them unique among all 39 extant cat species. 

The presence of the Fishing Cat adds special conservation value to the Ramsar Site, said renowned small cat specialist Dr Jim Sanderson.

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