Announcement 1 of 2: Night Safari is open every day from 19 Nov 2020 to 17 Jan 2021, as well as eve of and on public holidays. Population Structure, Distribution, and Habitat Use of Smooth-Coated Otters Lutrogale perspicillata in Singapore . ). Did you know that wild otters are often sighted in Singapore? Smooth-coated otters are not fussy eaters, and they tend to eat whatever is available where they are. Singapore has seen over 50 years of major road projects, from the PIE to the North-South Corridor. However, the adorable small-clawed otters, smaller in size than their smooth-coated counterparts, have also been highly trafficked in Southeast Asia, according to a report by wildlife conservation organisation Traffic. “Wild Otters Are the Latest Exotic Pet Trend.” Animals, January 10, 2019. Experiencing information fatigue? An Otter Working Group was set up in Singapore, comprising researchers, conservationists, scientists, wildlife officers, and government institutions. The smooth-coated otters were residents in the Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserve in 1998, and the small-clawed otters have been around Pulau Tekong since the 1980s. Housing one of the world’s largest collections of freshwater fauna, the park features over 6,000 animals including 40 threatened species. The otters´ more frequent forays onto the streets of Singapore are part of a global trend triggered by virus lockdowns, with animals increasingly slipping cover to explore the streets of some of the world´s biggest cities. But their newfound freedoms appear to have emboldened the otters, and they are now facing a backlash. Interestingly, the branch of otters we now have in Singapore is believed to be a unique hybrid population—the result of an even union between both species, making it a surviving population that nearly went extinct. Smooth-coated ones grow up to 1.2m long and 11kg in weight. They are really cute," said Pam Wong, a 35-year-old Singaporean. Still, otter experts believe the anger is an overreaction and that the creatures are likely just enjoying the extra freedom to venture to new places. One of the first male otters sighted in the Marina Bay family was suspected to have been poisoned. A few months later, in February 2018, an angler was seen throwing rocks at otters swimming by the Punggol Waterfront. “Distinguishing Features between Asian Small-Clawed Otters and Smooth-Coated Otters,” March 5, 2019. This species of lesser mouse-deer is unique to Singapore, but don’t be surprised if you don’t see it. Singapore has two species of otters. “Phylogeography of the Smooth-Coated Otter (Lutrogale Perspicillata): Distinct Evolutionary Lineages and Hybridization with the Asian Small-Clawed Otter (Aonyx Cinereus).” Scientific Reports 7 (January 27, 2017): 1–13. hello@kontinentalist.com. adapting quickly to an urbanised landscape, 15 to 25 percent of their body weight each day, an angler was seen throwing rocks at otters. SINGAPORE: Singapore's otters, long adored by the city-state's nature lovers, are popping up in unexpected places during the coronavirus lockdown but their antics have angered some and even sparked calls for a cull. The otters have been heralded as a major success and they are the unofficial emblem of our city's successful re-greening efforts. Thanks to the Singapore River clean up in 1977, its ecological conditions and biodiversity have proven ideal for supporting otters—a far cry from our once oxygen-starved waterways. Two otter species occur in Singapore. The current WABA review is addressing this. http://www.otter.org/Public/AboutOtters_OtterSpecies.aspx. Residents have erected fences to keep them out, but nature conservationists note that these fences, deployed neither adequately or appropriately, have been effective at stopping otters adapted to surviving in the urban environment. The cuteness of wild otters has led to a spate of avid otter watching in Singapore. NUS´s Sivasothi criticised calls for a cull as "quite an uneducated response", and said such a move would be ineffective. Although there can be overlaps in size with the cubs of larger specie… Though Singapore's landscape has rapidly urbanised over the past 50 years, the highly adaptable smooth-coated otter continues to exist and perhaps even thrive here, as sightings of it have increased over the last decade 12. *Special thanks to the community of avid otter watchers of Singapore, which has been so helpful in providing us photos, information, and datasets for this story on their beloved otters. Today, a population of at least 60 hybrid otters exists in Singapore. However, in Singapore, the Smooth-coated otter Lutro- gale perspicillata has made a tremendous rebound Kathy writes marine and environmental stories at Kontinentalist. Encouraging good wildlife ethics, along with public involvement in research and monitoring of the species, helps the ongoing conservation and management of otters in Singapore. The Raffles banded langur is only found in Singapore’s Central Catchment Nature Reserve and in Johor (Malaysia); it feeds on leaves and fruits. Most otter species come ashore to give birth in dens, which sometimes have been used by other animals such as beavers. Otter groups here told The New Paper that they get messages from fans across the globe asking where to find the animals if they were to visit Singapore. Only 40 to 60 remain – the main problem is loss of habitat and food with many of its food species also endangered. These sightings are of much delight to conservationists, as the presence of otters usually signals the health of the waters they are seen in. Group Bull. Announcement 1 of 4: Night Safari is open every day from 19 Nov 2020 to 17 Jan 2021, as well as eve of and on public holidays. Group Bull. But the restored waters brought back an otter banquet: tilapia, catfish and all manner of exotic species, such as the yellow-hued Orinoco peacock bass. Highly social creatures that move around in herds, otters do not take well to being sold as pets and kept individually. India, Bangladesh, and the Philippines have submitted proposals for a ban on the international trade of Asian small-clawed otters and smooth-coated otters. IUCN Otter Spec. The smooth-coated otters were residents in the Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserve in 1998, and the small-clawed otters have been around Pulau Tekong since the 1980s. In Malay folklore, the mousedeer is witty enough to outsmart larger, more dangerous animals: In Malay folklore, the mousedeer is witty enough to outsmart larger, more dangerous animals: Singapore. She was history-trained but does other things now instead, like running an ecotourism shark conservation business, The Dorsal Effect. Below are several diagnostic features that set them apart from other Asian species. Their diet consists of fish, frogs, crabs, turtles etc. Most have not been sighted in typical otter habitats—often the wilder plots of nature in the country. Four species of otters have been recorded from Malaysia and Singapore in the past: Lutra lutra (Common or Eurasian Otter), Lutra sumatrana (Hairy-nosed Otter), Lutrogale perspicillata (Smooth Otter) and Amblonyx cinereus (Oriental Small-clawed Otter). “Otters of the World.” Discover Wildlife. He also said many recent sightings were likely of the same family of smooth-coated otters, which have been searching for a new home along the city´s rivers. Local scientist Meryl Theng who contributed to an international paper on the population movement of otters, brought this to light. Smooth-Coated Otters in Singapore Sound Recording by Philip Johns. Abstract Four species of otters have been recorded from Malaysia and Singapore in the past: Lutra lutra (Common or Eurasian Otter), Lutra sumatrana (Hairy-nosed Otter), Lutrogale perspicillata (Smooth Otter) and Amblonyx cinereus (Oriental Small-clawed Otter). When the animals first reappeared in Singapore’s waterways, they were so unknown to most that “people thought that they could be beavers or seals,” says Sivasothi, who launched the website OtterWatch to help educate … Otters eat about 15 to 25 percent of their body weight each day. Mp3. That said, the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC), an American environmental organisation with global reach, says that enforcement at the species level has not been carried out thoroughly. (Oriental Small-clawed Otter). Though education alone is not enough to change behaviours around our wildlife, several impassioned otter watchers have been volunteering their services to help new otter watchers stay mindful of their subjects—a heartening gesture. Human–animal conflicts are common in urban spaces, but these can often be prevented with further awareness and education on appreciating Singapore’s native wildlife without threatening or encroaching on their territory. If there is less food around, otter families will split up into smaller packs to seek food. image caption There are two species of otter native to Singapore; the Bishan 10 are smooth-coated otters image copyright Rebecca Bailey image caption In … Interestingly, the branch of otters we now have in Singapore is believed to be a unique hybrid population—the, of an even union between both species, making it a surviving population that nearly went extinct. 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