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About Otters

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Otter Species

Otters around the world

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The Mustelid Family

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African Otters

Asian Otters

Otter-like animals have inhabited the earth for the last 30 million years and over the years have undergone subtle changes to the carnivore bodies to exploit the rich aquatic environment.

Otters are members of the Mustelid family which includes badgers, polecats, martens, weasels, stoats and mink.

You can find out more about each of the 13 species below and check out their current conservation status in the Red Data List.

You can find out more about each species in “Otters of the World” available at the Ottershop.

Smooth Coated Otter (Lutrogale perspicillata)

SIZE 1.21 m
WEIGHT 7 to 10kg
DIET Fish, shellfish and crustaceans
CONSERVATION STATUS: Vulnerable Click here


Photo by Jollence Lee

This otter is bigger than the Eurasian Otter and has short smooth fur and large webbed feet.  It is variable in colour from nearly black to sandy brown with a white to yellow chin and throat patch.  The feet are large and webbed and they have a flattened tail.

It occurs in south east Asia from Indonesia through to China and lives in rivers, estuaries and mangrove swamps and requires undisturbed vegetation adjacent to the water.  It lives alongside the Asian Small-clawed Otter and often with the Eurasian. 

Distribution of the Smooth Coated Otter (Lutrogale perspicillata)

Data based on Otters of the World (IOSF 2015)