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World Otters Day 2021: Reiterating the Imperative Role Otters Play in Maintaining the Ecosystem

World Otter Day is celebrated every year on the last Wednesday of May. Thus, this year it falls on the 26th of May. The day is celebrated worldwide to raise awareness about otters and to propagate the need for their conservation so that people around the world are as appalled by otter hunting as they are with tiger hunting.

International Otter Survival Fund (IOSF):

World Otter Day is a result of the efforts and initiatives undertaken by the International Otter Survival Fund (IOSF). In 2009, the day was started as Otterly Mad Week, which became International Otter Awareness Day in 2014. And, by 2016 it evolved as World Otter Day.

The International Otter Survival Fund (IOSF) is one of the world’s leading organizations that works to protect otters so that future generations are not devoid of the sight of the world’s most endearing, elusive, and enjoyable mammals.

Know About Otters:

Otters are endearing mammals with webbed feet, a long tail, and one of the densest furs.

They are an indispensable part of the riverine and marine ecosystems. There are about 13 different species of otters, scattered all over the world owing to their adaptable nature. While most otter species inhabit fresh water, marine otters and the sea otter live and feed exclusively in saltwater. World Otter Day: Tweets, Reactions and Wishes To Save Otters Everywhere (See Tweets).

The Apex Predator:

The otters are considered an ‘apex predator’ and sits at the top of the food chain, thus keeping the population of all animals that follow in check.

It plays a vital and indispensable role in maintaining and sustaining the wetland ecosystem.

The Indicator Species:

The otters are often referred to as the ‘indicator species’ as scientists could analyze and ascertain the local ecological conditions and get insights into the health of an ecosystem based on the otter population found in that area.

Why is it Critical to Conserve Otters?

Otters are a unique species that play a critical role in nature. However, the species is listed in the IUCN Red List, making its existence critically vulnerable.

Over the years, the species has faced an acute population decline across the world. The threats faced by otters include:

– The loss of habitat

– Illegal otter trade & poaching

– Water Pollution

– Human-wildlife conflict

Otter Warriors:

Even though the future seems bleak for these appealing creatures, all is not lost yet! Two organizations have been relentlessly working for the cause of otter conservation in India:

1.) Wild Otters, Goa:

Wild Otters, founded in the year 2018 by Katrina Fernandez, and team operates to deliver on three core verticals: wildlife research, education, and outreach.

The organization is committed to understanding the ecosystem dynamics and community ecology of otters, in their natural habitats across Goa and Karnataka. The organization also aims to disseminate this information to fill data gaps and create awareness. World Otter Day 2021 Date: Know Significance of The Day That Supports the Existence of Otters.

2.) Eco Earth Crusaders, Odisha:

A group of youngsters from Odisha came together in 2018 to do something for the conservation of otters.

For this, 5 environmental enthusiasts in their 20s, after seeking permissions from the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and receiving a grant of Rs 1.35 lakh from the Wildlife Trust of India conducted a six-month long awareness campaign to sensitize locals on the need to conserve the smooth-coated otters. For expanding the reach of the campaign, four local artists were also engaged to paint walls and raise awareness among the locals.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on May 26, 2021 06:46 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).

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