UP Begins Census of Otters in the Pilibhit Tiger Reserve

Published on March 21, 2019
For the first time, Uttar Pradesh is taking a census of Otters in its protected areas. The census has begun in the Pilibhit Tiger Reserve (PTR).
UP Begins Census of Otters in the Pilibhit Tiger Reserve

Significance of Otters

  • Otters live on fish and spend much of its time in or close to water bodies.
  • A thriving population of Otters means a healthy ecosystem.
  • A growing or healthy population of Otters means the water bodies are pollution-free.
  • Clean water bodies mean a healthy ecosystem of the forest.
  • Otters thriving and getting sufficient food to eat means the water bodies in the reserve are in a fine state and the aquatic life in them is healthy.

India is home to 3 of the 13 species of otters found worldwide:

  1. Eurasian Otter (Lutra lutra) - IUCN status: Near Threatened.
  2. Smooth-coated Otter (Lutra perspicillata) - IUCN status: Vulnerable.
  3. Small-clawed Otter (Aonyx cinereus) - IUCN status: Vulnerable.

About Pilibhit Tiger Reserve:

  • Pilibhit Tiger Reserve spreads across Pilibhit district, Lakhimpur Kheri District and Bahraich District of Uttar Pradesh.
  • The Northern edge of the reserve lies along the India-Nepal border while the southern boundary is marked by the river Sharada and Khakra.
  • Pilibhit Tiger Reserve is home to habitat for over 127 animals, 326 bird species and 2,100 flowering plants.
  • The reserve is home to a myriad of wild animals including the endangered tiger, swamp deer, Bengal florican, hog deer, leopard, etc.
  • The large carnivores are supported by a very large prey base consisting of cheetal, sambar, wild boar, hog deer, swamp deer, blue bull, etc.
  • The bird life is very rich and diverse and hundreds of species of birds can be seen around.


Q. Which state for the first time is taking a census of Otters in its protected areas?
a. Madhya Pradesh
b. Uttar Pradesh
c. Assam
d. Tamil Nadu

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