Involving community as key stakeholders in securing the future of otters outside protected areas

Project Purpose

To secure the future of otters in human dominated landscapes.

Project Objectives

  1. To understand local communities perceptions towards otters
  2. To address fishermen concerns about otters
  3. To study diet composition of the Smooth-coated otters
  4. To study otter adaptations in human dominated landscape

Project site background

Goa is a small state in the west of India. Otter populations in Goa are distributed across the state. Goa has an area of 3702 sq. km. with rivers spread across the state (total perennial river length of 873 km). These rivers are home to Smooth-coated and Asian Small-clawed otters. Majority of the Smooth-coated and Some Asian Small-clawed otter population lie outside the protected area.

Project Overview

Significant otter population lie outside the protected area; human-otter co-existence is crucial for their survival. In this project we work with local communities to involve them as key stakeholders in otter conservation. We study the diet of the Smooth-coated otter in the mangroves and their interactions with fishermen. Otters adapt to survive; we understand these adaptations and work to help them survive.

Project timeline and status

The project work was started in June 2015. Its a long term project and the work is in progress. Diet analysis of Smooth-coated otters in mangroves is expected to be completed by December 2016. We are continuously engaging with the community as we involve them in otter conservation. We are continuously monitoring otter activity outside protected areas.

Conservation Value

Project findings are contributing to the understanding of behavior and adaptations of otters. We have made advances in understanding their capabilities to live in human dominates landscapes. We take actions to secure their future outside .