The smooth-coated otters are believed to have swum across the Johor Straits from Malaysia to the north side of Singapore in 1998, before deciding to make the island their home. Group Bull. Otters are the subject of interest for many in Singapore, and a ground-up initiative to create a crowdsourced database on them—which you can add to!—has been completed. The Smooth-coated Otter (Lutrogale perspicillata) is the largest otter in Southeast Asia, and is named after its velvety smooth coat. “BFM: The Business Radio Station - Citizen Science and the Case Study of Smooth-Coated Otters in Singapore.” Accessed January 4, 2019. International Otter Survival Fund.” Accessed March 1, 2019. “IUCN/SSC Otter Specialist Group Bulletin Volume 35 Issue 3 (2018).” Accessed January 14, 2019. In Malay folklore, the mousedeer is witty enough to outsmart larger, more dangerous animals: In Malay folklore, the mousedeer is witty enough to outsmart larger, more dangerous animals: According to Sivasothi, otters are social species, and they almost always travel together in families. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong weighed in on the debate Friday, posting a photo he took of otters before the lockdown on his Facebook account. From Sivasothi, 19951 The small-clawed otter is the smallest species of otter with a body length of about 0.9m, which is only slightly more than half the size of a smooth-coated otter. Smooth-coated ones grow up to 1.2m long and 11kg in weight. Moretti, Beatrice, Omar F Al-Sheikhly, Monica Guerrini, Meryl Theng, Brij K Gupta, Mukhtar K Haba, Waseem Khan, Aleem Khan, and Filippo Barbanera. Housing one of the world’s largest collections of freshwater fauna, the park features over 6,000 animals including 40 threatened species. India, Bangladesh, and the Philippines have submitted proposals for a ban on the international trade of Asian small-clawed otters and smooth-coated otters. Accessed January 14, 2019. “Observations of the Variation in Group Structure of Two Urban Smooth-Coated Otter Lutrogale Perspicillata Groups in the Central Watershed of Singapore.” ResearchGate. The otter population in Singapore was initially thought extinct between the 1960s and 1970s, but sightings in the 1990s confirmed their presence in the Sungei Buloh wetlands area. But their newfound freedoms appear to have emboldened the otters, and they are now facing a backlash. Experiencing information fatigue? Otters need space to rest and sleep, and especially to dry their fur off after a hunting swim—this helps them maintain the waterproofing ability of their fur before they return to the water again. Yet in Singapore, the most urbanized country in the world, commuters … Khoo, M de Yuan and Sivasothi, N (2018)b. Smooth-coated otters are not fussy eaters, and they tend to eat whatever is available where they are. http://www.otter.org/Public/AboutOtters_OtterSpecies.aspx. The emergence of the Bishan otter family, along with several other otter families, has been hailed by The Economist as a sign of the success of Singapore's greening policy. Accessed February 28, 2019. “Asian Countries Propose Bans on Commercial Trade in Otters.” NRDC. Download the full report . Because of this, many otter species have suffered population declines throughout the world. Below are several diagnostic features that set them apart from other Asian species. The Raffles banded langur is only found in Singapore’s Central Catchment Nature Reserve and in Johor (Malaysia); it feeds on leaves and fruits. https://www.nrdc.org/experts/paul-todd/asian-countries-propose-bans-commercial-trade-otters. It is a mammal, often spotted in our mangroves, mudflats and coastal areas, where it forages for clams, fish, and other small creatures. The case sparked a debate about whether more should be done to stop otters rampaging through the city, with a widely discussed letter in a local newspaper calling for air horns and rubber bullets to be used as deterrents. Kathy writes marine and environmental stories at Kontinentalist. Thanks to the Singapore River clean up in 1977, its ecological conditions and biodiversity have proven ideal for supporting otters—a far cry from our once oxygen-starved waterways. There are estimated to be about 90 otters in Singapore, making up 10 families, and appearances at popular tourist sites around the city-state´s downtown waterfront have transformed them into local celebrities. If there is less food around, otter families will split up into smaller packs to seek food. The smooth-coated otters were residents in the Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserve in 1998, and the small-clawed otters have been around Pulau Tekong since the 1980s. In Sentosa Cove, a luxury district in an island off Singapore’s southern coast, residents have found the otters a problem. For otters to continue thriving, they require adequate space to feed in, reproduce, dry their fur, and rest. N. Sivasothi, a senior lecturer from the Department of Biological Science, Faculty of Science, National University of Singapore, has been monitoring and following these otters with his students for years. Accessed March 4, 2019. “Ottercity Facebook Page.” Ottercity Facebook Home. https://cdn-images.kontinentalist.com/kontinentalist-story-asset-1551411308.mp3. "Wild boars have never been encouraged to enter urban areas, neither should otters be just because they look cute," wrote Ong Junkai in the correspondence to the Straits Times, which triggered calls from some for a cull. https://www.discoverwildlife.com/animal-facts/mammals/otters-of-the-world/. Though Singapore's landscape has rapidly urbanised over the past 50 years, the highly adaptable smooth-coated otter continues to exist and perhaps even thrive here, as sightings of it have increased over the last decade 12. The NRDC has since been partnering with organisations around the world to put together a strong case for the ban. Singapore. Meanwhile, zoologist Chan Yik Khan said without historic data, it is hard to tell what led to … Owing its name to its short, sleek fur, smooth-coated otters are one of the two otter species found in Singapore (the other being Aonyx cinerea). Lone otters are typically males in search of a group, and the size of these groups varies according to what different environments can provide. They are the more familiar ones here and have been … Many of these enthusiasts have produced well-edited videos that vividly relay relatable stories about the otter populations in Singapore. In December 2017, a five-year-old girl on holiday in Singapore with her family was bitten by an otter near Gardens by the Bay. Should you spot mistakes, inaccuracies, or have queries about our sources, please drop us an e-mail at While Singapore is home to two species of otters — the smooth-coated otter and the small-clawed otter — only the former is popularly known and spotted across the island. Did you know that wild otters are often sighted in Singapore? Let’s start with monkeys, though not the lunch stealing long tailed macaques. Only 40 to 60 remain – the main problem is loss of habitat and food with many of its food species also endangered. Critically, the fish species that otters rely on as sources of food need to thrive in Singapore’s waterways for the otters to remain. NUS´s Sivasothi criticised calls for a cull as "quite an uneducated response", and said such a move would be ineffective. Smooth-coated ones grow up to 1.2m long and 11kg in weight. Academics like assistant professor Philip Johns of Yale–NUS College’s Life Sciences Department are also looking to encourage citizen science by building a mobile app that allows anyone to easily upload high quality videos of the otters from their mobile phones. Smooth-Coated Otters in Singapore Sound Recording by Philip Johns. There are laws against the trapping and killing of otters in Singapore. Mp3. IUCN Otter Spec. One of the few wildlife species well-adapted to urban environments, otters are popular enough in the Garden City to be featured in David Attenborough’s Wild City documentary about Singapore in 2015, as well as in BBC Earth’s Wild Cities in 2019. The two common species of otters in Singapore are the smooth-coated otter (Lutrogale perspicillata) and the small-clawed otter (Aonyx cinereus). While many think of tiny Singapore as a densely populated concrete jungle, it is also relatively green for a busy Asian city, and has patches of rainforest, fairly clean waterways and abundant wildlife. Residents have erected fences to keep them out, but nature conservationists note that these fences, deployed neither adequately or appropriately, have been effective at stopping otters adapted to surviving in the urban environment. A few months later, in February 2018, an angler was seen throwing rocks at otters swimming by the Punggol Waterfront. There are four species of river otters in Asia: the smooth-coated otter, small-clawed otter, hairy-nosed otter, and Eurasian otter. Theng, Meryl, and Sivasothi N. “The Smooth-Coated Otter Lutrogale Perspicillata (Mammalia: Mustelidae) in Singapore: Establishment and Expansion in Natural and Semi-Urban Environments.” IUCN/SCC Otter Specialist Group Bulletin 33 (January 1, 2016): 37–49. The creatures gobbled several fish including an arowana, a prized species that can sell for tens of thousands of dollars. There are two species of otters in SG – smooth-coated otters and Asian small-clawed otters. This species … There are two species of otters here - … In December 2017, a five-year-old girl on holiday in Singapore are the smooth-coated variety, classified ``... Otter in Southeast Asia, and is named after its velvety smooth coat of actual rat poisoning, the Effect... World are social species, and they almost always travel together in families apart. Large patches of land to get to other waterways four species of otters Singapore. 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