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International Otter Survival Fund World Otter Day


                          IOSF World Otter Day 2019


Wednesday 29 May 2019


Read below just some of the events which took place all over the world on IOSF WORLD OTTER DAY 2018

  Wednesday 30 May 


                                                            2018 World Otter Day

It's here!
and we hope that you are joining with us for World Otter Day and raising awareness about just how important they are to the environment, how they suffer as part of the illegal wildlife trade and how much they need our help;  Encourage more people to care about and be passionate about otters, just like you, and the louder our voice will be.

Perhaps you have already given it some thought, or maybe this is just a little reminder, but if you can do something extra for World Otter Day to raise otter awareness and raise a wee bit more money to help otters that would be fantastic.  

Your support is important to us and the otters, and the more people that know the better.

There are now events happening in over 20 countries.  You can see where on our map here  There are more to come... so keep checking in.


In 2009 IOSF started Otterly Mad Week and in 2014 this was changed to World Otter Day.  The aim of the day is to draw attention to the 13 species of otter - ALL of them are listed in the IUCN Red List.  This includes the Eurasian otter which is found in Europe, Asia and North Africa.  It is often assumed that this species is doing well as it is beginning to recover in parts of Europe but we know almost nothing about it in the rest of its vast range.

So we need to draw attention to the threats to otters - habitat loss, hunting, illegal trade for furs and pets.  

We also need funds to help support people working on otter conservation and caring for individual orphaned and injured otters.


Discover some ideas for taking part here 

To help you we are adding event and information posters to our Resources page for you to download and print/share. More are being added gradually, so if you do not see your language at the moment,  keep checking and it should be available soon.

WOD2018 Info Poster

Many people will be posting and sharing all things otter on social media for #worldotterday.  We invite you all to join in too and help to make otters trend.  Let us get the world thinking about otters in a positive way. 

Please remember, always use #worldotterday in your social media and encourage your family and friends to join in.


Social media proved a strong tool on World Otter Day. As a result of so many of you joining in we saw #worldotterday trending on Twitter and hopefully had more people in the world thinking about otters in a positive way.

Please remember, always use #worldotterday in your social media.

People in at least 26 countries celebrated #worldotterday with us.

Our world map and text below, provide an indication of how popular this special day is, and how it is growing each year.

Thank you everyone.

 2018 World Otter Day Map 

1. Sri Lanka - an otter awareness educational day was held for 300 school children in Sigiriya area and included the distribution of otter story books to school libraries.

2. Uganda - there was a survey for otter over 10km stretch of the Nile river, involving local communities.

3. UK:
- Cardiff - an Otter Post Mortem was streamed live from Cardiff University.

Scotland -
- Isle of Mull - Mull Otter Group celebrated at Bunessan Primary School with a day full of ottery activities, raising awareness with the "otter champions of the future".
- Perthshire, Auchingarrich - at the Wildlife Centre there was a talk by the otter keeper raising awareness of WOD and IOSF.
- the Small Isles of Muck (28/5), Eigg (29/5) and Rum (30/5), and Arisaig (31/5) - IOSF made educational visits to the primary schools to talk to the children about otters and IOSF.
- Oban and Loch Lomond SEA LIFE Centres raised awareness about the work of IOSF and otters at the feeding demonstrations at the otter enclosures, throughout May.
- Aberdeen - Powis Community Centre. Andy Coventry presented his talk 'The Urban Otter' on May 25.
- Glasgow - Sauchiehall Street - #LushLabs (Lush Cosmetics) was fundraising.

- Sheffield - Muddy Faces - held outdoor events and education.
- Farnham - The Otter Wey project - art trail and activities.
- Scarborough, Hunstanton, Gweek and Weymouth SEA LIFE Centres raised awareness about the work of IOSF and otters at the feeding demonstrations at the otter enclosures, throughout May. Scarborough and Weymouth also compelted distance challenges on World Otter Day itself and in Hunstanton there were additional otter enrichment activities throughout the week of 28 May.
- Waterlooville - the Library at The Precinct organised an Otter Day for children during half term. There were crafts to get involved in and, of course, books.
- Dr Daniel Allen was tweeting to raise awareness - 13 , one for each otter species @Dr_Dan_1.
- Skipton - Blue Otter Boats held an event to raise awareness for World Otter Day.
- Brentwood - Old MacDonald's Farm & Fun Park was raising awareness and funds and giving talks throughout the day. Check out their Facebook page @omdfarm
- Croydon - long time supporter Grace Onions, together with friends and families, walked along the River Wandle collecting for World Otter Day, with their decorated collecting buckets and banners.
- Shropshire - Wildlife Trust - promoted the importance of clean water and submitting otter sightings, training volunteers in surveying for otter signs and maintaining an otter distribution map.

Northern Ireland
- Portaferry - Exploris Aquarium Otter MAYhem 28 May.

4. Montenegro - Skadar Lake National Park. Educational otter awareness day including setting camera trap and TV coverage.

5. Australia
- Budjarn Lambeth raised awareness and funds by selling ottery goods at his college.
- Perth Zoo - 4 eight week old Asian small clawed otter cubs received their first vet check.

6. USA:
- Kansas, Witchita - Twitch Charity Stream on Tiltify. SpaceOtterSplash built an otter sanctuary playing Ark: Survival Evolved for donations.
- San Francisco - the River Otter Ecology Project gave two talks in different areas of San Francisco.
- Illinois - Aurora - carried out a clean-up of the waterways - rivers, steams and ditches.
- Alaska, Anchorage - provided distance learning material and Otter Field Trip focus for entire month of June.
- Texas, Victoria - Texas Zoo, 'Wotter Day - Kick Off to Summer Bash' - Inflatable water slides were available so that kids could play in water 'just like an otter'. Local museums had otter games and there were otter crafts, education on otters and raising funds for IOSF.
- Delaware - Sun Otter Tours - Fundraiser and education - funds going to Delaware River Otter Habitat Restoration.
- Massachusetts, Stoneham - Stone Zoo - otter awareness.
- New Orleans - Audubon Zoo celebrated World Otter Day which included an otter mascot to have your photo with!
- Ohio - Akron Zoo had an otter event "Ode to Otters" on Saturday 26 May and there were lots of different things happening.
- NBC Bay Area - promoted World Otter Day

7. Nepal:
- Karnali River - a three month ban of fishing was organised to aid conservation of all river wildlife, including otters.
- Pokhara - there was a presentation to University students on Otters in Nepal that included findings from recent research with particular focus on the Smooth-coated otter in Bardia National Park.
- Kanchanpur -Bhanu Chowk, Mahendranagar - 6:30 am -8:30 am Balram Awasthi organised an Otter conservation awareness cycle rally between Siddhanath Science Campus to Jhalari City (and return) 40km. There was also a signature gathering event in Mahendranagar city.

8. Indonesia:
Cempedak Island - was raising awareness and promoting otter conservation, utilising the IOSF video and social media.

9. Argentina - Rio Negro, Bariloche, Nahuel Huapi Lake. 15 June was“Día del Huillín y de su ambiente” (Day of the southern river otter and its habitat). Raising awareness of the species and its conservation with events for children including music and art.

10. Tanzania:
- Sokoine University of Agriculture. Martin Joseph was raising awareness and promoting otter conservation through public lecture, leaflets and social media.
- Sengerema District, Mwanza. Oliver Katembo with JGI, Roots & Shoots organisation created awareness and discussion about the otters at local schools and clubs.
- William Mgomo was raising awareness and promoting World Otter Day.

11. Brazil - São Paulo, 27 May Peônia Pereira, Sorocaba Zoo, published an article for children in a local paper, about otters and World Otter Day.

12. Guatemala - Aurora Zoo, Guatemala City. A talk was presented about otters and related activities at the otter exhibit.

13. Russia:
- Novosibirsk Zoo - Education and awareness raising.

14. France:
- Camille de Meyer gives 1€ to IOSF for each piece of jewellery she sells from her website For World Otter Day she sent out her special Mustélidée's otter card for every piece of jewellery sold between May 28 and June 3.

15. Cambodia
- Sokrith Heng was posting on the Conservation International Greater Mekong Facebook page.

16. Mexico
- Veracruz - Dr Pablo Hernandez Romero organised two events at the Aquarium. Fun awareness workshops for children and conservation information panels about the Neoptropical otter.

17. China
- Chimelong Ocean Kingdom ( HOK) - was promoting otter conservation in line with their enrichment and education narration and relevant programmes.
- Hong Kong - Sharne McMillan established the 'HK Otters' Facebook page and gave a range of public lectures.
- for Wetlands International - For Wetlands International - Southwestern Mountain- Civil Society promoted the IOSF event across the China through their soical media platform and introduced the otters around the world with photos and texts. Also, local NGOs-Shanshui conservation centre posted to celebrated World Otter Day.

18. Portugal
- Lisbon - Lorenzo Quaglietta was involved in taking local Portuguese people along the coast to look for otter signs and rise awareness about otters and freshwater ecosystems conservation.

19. Bangladesh
- Dhaka - Jagannath University - Delip K. Das (Bisharga) organised a seminar to create awareness in his Department.

20. Switzerland
- Zoo de La Chaux de Fonds - held a fundraiser and raising awareness event.

21. India
- Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh, India. This awareness event included students, local communities, NGOs and other sectors. This area has the second largest Mangroves in East coast of India after Sundarbans and is a safe heaven for Indian Smooth-coated Otters and Fishing Cats. Proudly organized by Government of India- Government of Andhra Pradesh- UNDP-GEF- EGREE Foundation in collaboration with Andhra Pradesh Forest Department in association with IUCN/SSC Otter Specialist Group.

22. Italy
- Cattolica - Aquarium of Cattolica - visitors were able to see and learn about the three Asian small-clawed otters, Eva, Marta and Costanza, and World Otter Day, at feeding times. Information and details were posted on the Aquarium website along with a press release.

23. Romania
- Doaga village - on 1 June 2018 the Association for Biological Diversity Conservation organised an event on a nearby lake. A raft of recycled plastic bottles was used to highlight pollution and habitat degradation, and there was fun and games for the school children.

24. Laos
Kiengki Khoonsrivong, celebrated World Otter Day with friends and colleagues.

25. Japan
- Osaka - Kaiyukan Aquarium promoted World Otter Day providing talks about the Japanese river otter and the threats to otters by the illegal fur trade.

26. Taiwan
Taipei Zoo and Kinmen Island celebrated World Otter Day and raised awareness.


Winners of the World Otter Day Grants

We offered the opportunity to win a £100 grant towards the cost of putting on an event or carrying out education work, as part of World Otter Day. The response has been fantastic, with applications from all over the world and an interesting variety of projects and ideas.  We want to thank everyone who has submitted an application and appreciate their support.

So, the task to choose three winners has not been easy, but after much consideration, the following are to receive £100 from the IOSF World Otter Day grants:

•    Ninoslav Đurović, Montenegro -
With children, we will be raising awareness of the importance of otter and identifying otter signs in the field, on an island at Skadar Lake.  This event will be recorded and broadcast on TV.  A trail camera trap will also be sited on the island and positive results shared on social media.
•    The Cardiff University Otter Project,  Wales –
Live streaming of otter post mortem to provide a detailed insight into the research undertaken on otters in the UK and why we do post-mortems.

•    Godfrey Lubanga, Uganda
To carry out a 10km survey on the Nile, east of Karuma, over a 10 day period. Members of the local community will be involved, and there will be discussion with local fishermen to educate them on the value and importance of otters in the environment.