Uttar Pradesh for the first time has undertaken a census of otters in protected areas of the state. India is home to 3 of the 13 species of otters found worldwide. These are
Eurasian Otter (Lutra lutra) – IUCN status: Near Threatened.
Smooth-coated Otter (Lutra perspicillata) – IUCN status: Vulnerable
Small-clawed Otter (Aonyx cinereus) – IUCN status: Vulnerable
The census exercise was started from Pilibhit Tiger Reserve and will be completed by end of March 2019 covering all protected areas of state.
It is important part species (mammal) of forest ecosystem. It spends much of its time in or close to water bodies. A thriving population of otters means a healthy ecosystem It lives on fish.Its den is known as holt and it is close to water bodies. Otters thriving and. getting sufficient food to eat means the water bodies in the reserve are in a fine state and the aquatic life in them is healthy.
Pilibhit Tiger Reserve (PTR)
It is located in foothills of Himalayas, south of Nepal spreads across Pilibhit district, Lakhimpur Kheri District and Bahraich District of Uttar Pradesh. The Northern edge of the the reserve lies along the India-Nepal border while the southern boundary is marked by the river Sharada and Khakra.
It is home to tigers, leopards, elephants, different species of deer and monkeys and reptiles like snakes, mugger crocodiles and gharials. The large carnivores are supported by a very large prey base consisting of cheetal, sambar, wild boar, hog deer, swamp deer, blue bull, etc. The bird life is very rich and diverse and hundreds of species of birds can be seen around.
Pilibhit Tiger Reserve is home to habitat for over 127 animals, 326 bird species and 2,100 flowering plants