Asian Small-clawed Otter

Asian Small-clawed Otter

Mammalia

SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION

COMMON NAME: Asian small-clawed otter, Asian short-clawed otter, Oriental small-clawed otter, small-clawed otter
KINGDOM: Animalia
PHYLUM: Chordata
CLASS: Mammalia
ORDER: Carnivora
FAMILY: Mustelidae
GENUS SPECIES: Aonyx
SUBGENUS SPECIES: Amblonyx cinerea

FAST FACTS

DESCRIPTION: Asian small-clawed otters are one of 13 species of otters in the carnivore family Mustelidae. Other members of this family include weasels, skunks, and ferrets. Otters in this genus are characterized by only partial webbing between their toes, and small, blunt, peg-like claws. Other otters have fully webbed feet and strong, well-developed claws. Asian small-clawed otters have slender, serpentine bodies with dense, luxurious fur.
SIZE: The Asian small-clawed otter is the smallest of all otters, measuring 65-94 cm (26-37 in.).
WEIGHT: Approximately 1-5 kg (2.2-11 lb.)
DIET: Feed mainly on crustaceans, mollusks, and frogs; They forage with their sensitive paws, which enable them to locate prey in silt-bottomed riverbeds.
GESTATION: About 2 months
ESTRAL PERIOD: 24 to 30 day estrus cycle with 3 days of estrus
SEXUAL MATURITY: No data
LIFE SPAN: On average, 10-15 years with some individuals living more than 20 years in zoological parks.
RANGE: Southeast Asia from northern India to southeastern China, the Malay Peninsula, and parts of Indonesia
HABITAT: They prefer freshwater and brackish habitats such as rivers, creeks, estuaries, and coastal waters. They may also spend a great deal of time out of the water, traveling considerable distances between waterways.
POPULATION: GLOBAL Unknown
STATUS: IUCN Near Threatened
CITES Appendix II
USFWS Not listed

FUN FACTS

1. An individual otter maintains a territory. Otters mark their territories with scent, and fervently patrol and defend their territories.
2. Asian otters are considered semi-social. Scent is the most important communication for all freshwater otters. Each otter's scent is as individual as a fingerprint. Asian otters also communicate vocally, with a repertoire of at least 12 calls.

ECOLOGY AND CONSERVATION

All otters have been exploited for their thick, velvety fur. All species of otters are protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), a worldwide treaty developed in 1973 to regulate trade in wildlife species.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Byrum, J. Otters. SeaWorld Education Department Publication. San Diego. SeaWorld, Inc. 1997.

Nowak, Ronald M. (ed.). Walker's Mammals of the World. Vol. II. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991.

Parker, S. (ed.). Grizmek's Encyclopedia of Mammals. Vol. IV. New York: McGraw-Hill Publishing Co., 1990.

Smithsonian: Mammal Species of the World Website http://nmnhgoph.si.edu/msw/

University of Michigan - Animal Diversity Web http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu