Eurasian otter raises hope for J&K stream

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Source: The post is based on the article “Eurasian otter raises hope for J&K streampublished in The Hindu on 16th March 2023

What is the News?

A team of scientists has spotted Eurasian otters in the Neeru stream of the Chenab catchment.

What is Eurasian Otter?

Scientific Name: Lutra lutra

It is an elusive, solitary otter that has one of the widest distributions.

Range: Its range covers parts of three continents: Europe, Asia and Africa .In India, it is present in northern, northeast and southern India.

Habitat: In the Indian subcontinent, Eurasian otters occur in cold hills and mountain streams. During summer (April – June) in the Himalayas, they may ascend up to 3,660 m.

IUCN Red List: Near Threatened

CITES: Appendix I

Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972: Schedule II

What is Neeru?

Neeru is a tributary of the Chenab river. It is a 30­km perennial stream that originates in the Kailash Lake at 3,900 meters above mean sea level and drains into the Chenab at Pul­Doda. 

Fed by 13 major tributaries, Neeru flows through several small villages, semi­urban and urbanized areas with Bhaderwah being the largest settlement.

What is the significance of spotting Eurasian Otters near Neeru river?

Eurasian otters are regarded as a flagship species and indicator of high-quality aquatic habitats. Its presence is encouraging for the health of the Neeru stream.

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