Preliminary Survey and Awareness for Otter Conservation in Rupa Lake, Pokhara, Nepal

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Preliminary Survey and Awareness for Otter Conservation in Rupa Lake, Pokhara, Nepal

Authors
Publisher
Wetlands Friends of Nepal (WFN)
Keywords
  • Ecology
  • Otters
  • Rupa Lake

Abstract

Microsoft Word - otter-jyoti Bhandari, J. and G.C. DB. 2008. Preliminary survey and awareness for otter conservation in Rupa Lake, Pokhara, Nepal. Journal of Wetlands Ecology. 1(1/2):2. 2 Journal of Wetlands Ecology - 1(1/2). Preliminary Survey and Awareness for Otter Conservation in Rupa Lake, Pokhara, Nepal 1Jyoti Bhandari & 2Dhruba Bijaya G.C. 1&2Wetland Friends of Nepal, Pokhara, Nepal, [email protected] Otters are top predators and important biological indicators of the wetland health. They are highly adopted aquatic hunters and semi-aquatic mammals with long stream-lined bodies, flat tails and webbed feet. They are essentially associated with freshwater lakes, ponds, rivers, canals, streams and undisturbed forest and shrub land adjacent to the water bodies for security. The main food items of otters are fish, crab, frog, insects and wild fruits. They feed only on prey that are numerous and/or species which are less active, so they are opportunistic in feeding. There are thirteen species of Otters distributed world wide except Australia, Antarctica and most Oceanic Island. Five species: Eurasian Otter (Lutra lutra), Smooth-coated Otter (Lutra perspicillata), Hairy- nosed Otter (Lutra sumwtrana), Asian Small-clawed Otter (Aonyx cinerea) and Sea Otter (Enhydra lutris) are known to occur in Asia. Out of these, only three species viz. Eurasian Otter, Smooth-coated Otter and Asian Small-clawed Otter have been recorded in Nepal. A study was carried out in Rupa lake to evaluate the knowledge of local villagers on otters, to document the number of otters and to raise public awareness for otter conservation. The major methods used in the study were reconnaissance survey, household survey, key informants’ survey, direct observation, ground transects, boat transects, community meetings and educational classes. About half of the respondents had some knowledge about otters. Three species of otters were reported by the local people but it has sti

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