Skye conservationists help Bangladesh’s otters

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A Skye -based charity has travelled to the home of the endangered Bengal tiger, to help local efforts to save otters, with one species unseen for 20 years.

The International Otter Survival Fund (IOSF) from Broadford organised the first ever training workshop in Bangladesh to aid local conservation efforts, which hitherto have largely focussed on tigers and elephants.

But and no-one had looked at the plight of the otter population in the country. Bangladesh is home to three species of otter: the Asian small-clawed otter and smooth-coated otter which are both endangered; and the Eurasian otter which is critically endangered in Asia.

This is the same species which is found in the UK and much of Europe but numbers have declined drastically in Asia, which forms about 80% of their geographical range.

Dr Paul Yoxon of IOSF said “The workshop was extremely positive and everyone was so inspired to do more for otters in their country. As a result there is now a Bangladesh Otter Network to take things further and encourage more students to study otters and work on their conservation in this increasingly prosperous country. A priority is to investigate the status of the Eurasian otter as they have not been seen in Bangladesh since 1995.”

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