IUCN Red List status:

Vulnerable

For more info on classifications visit www.iucnredlist.org

Animal vulnerability index Animal vulnerability index

As their name suggests, these otters have short but very flexible sensitive claws useful for digging, climbing and grabbing hold of prey. Their diet consist of crabs, snails, insects and small fish.

They live in small groups across Asia from India and Nepal to the Philippines, Indonesia, China, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.

These little otters have thick, insulating fur made from short hairs kept clean and healthy by their constant grooming. Their tails are long giving them propulsion when swimming and steering and balance when standing upright on land. Unlike other otters, the Asian short-clawed otter has feet which are only partly webbed which gives them more dextrous paws.

These otters form monogamous pairs for life. With a gestation period of around 60 days, pairs will have 2 litters a year of up to 7 pups. Pups spend up to 14 weeks weaning and spend most of their lives with their mothers until the next litter is born.

In the wild Asian short-clawed otters face increasing threats to their survival. Wetlands where they live are being taken over by us humans and some otters are hunted down for their skins and organs which are used in traditional Chinese medicines. Their numbers are going down and they are now listed as one of the most vulnerable species.

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These otters can live between 11 and 16 years.
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