> Subphylum Vertebrata > Class Mammalia
seen? This delightful creature is more common that we might
imagine. Smooth-coated otters are often sighted in our mangroves,
mudflats and coastal areas. Such as at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve,
Pasir Ris, Pulau Ubin as well as Changi. According
to Baker, in Singapore, they are also reported from the Western Catchment
Area. It was previously known as Lutra perspicillata. Acccording to Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, The first
record of the Smooth-coated otter was of a male, collected in 1938
from Lazarus Island. The second otter sighting was recorded at Sungei
Buloh in 1990. According to Davison, the local population may not
be strictly resident as they travel easily between Johor and Singapore
across the Johor Straits.
Features: Head and body to 75cm, tail to 45cm. Long
body and a long tail, covered in short sleek fur. It has short limbs
with webbed 'fingers' and prominent claws. The upperparts are greyish
brown and the underside is buffy.
Smooth-coated otters are generally social and live in pairs or family
groups of parents and their young. They are active both during the
day and at night.
Sometimes mistaken for other marine
animals. Here's more on how
to distinguish an otter on Meryl Theng's Otters
in Singapore blog.
What does it eat? It eats mainly
fish, but also turtles, crustaceans and clams and snails.
Otter babies: Babies are born
in a litter of 1-2, in a den dun in the river bank. The young stay
with the parents in a family group for some time.
and threats: The Smooth-coated otter is listed as 'Critically
Endangered' in the Red List of threatened animals of Singapore.
Park, Dec 10
Buloh Wetland Reserve, Mar
Changi, May 09
prints on mud.
Chek Jawa, Jul 11
Semakau, Aug 11
Semakau, Aug 11
otters on Singapore shores
a facebook page to share your otter sightings, part of Meryl Theng's
study of otters in
- Lutrogale perspicillata (Carnivora: Mustelidae) Smooth-coated Otter by Tan Jia Xiu, 2015, on taxo4254.
of ten smooth-coated otters (Lutrogale perspicillata) at
Pulau Ubin. 7 Mar 2014. Singapore Biodiversity Records 2014:
64 on the Lee Kong Chian Natural
History Museum website.
Otter on Nick Baker's EcologyAsia website: fact sheet with
Of Bright Water, a close encounter with the otters of Sungei Buloh
on Nick Baker's EcologyAsia website
- From Wetlands,
a magazine of the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve
puppies of the Reserve, 1993
of the Smooth Otter at Sungei Buloh, 1995
in Sight, 1999
Family Outing, 2006
just out to have fun Jogger spots otters frolicking in sun
at Pasir Ris Park Teh Jen Lee, The New Paper 20 Aug 09;
disappearing in Southeast Asia: hunted out for their skins
on the wild shores of singapore blog.
Sungei Buloh otters from dog menace Straits Times Forum 11
Dec 09 on the wildsingapore news blog.
- Baker, Nick
and Kelvin Lim. 2008. Wild
Animals of Singapore: A Photographic Guide to Mammals, Reptiles,
Amphibians and Freshwater Fishes
Vertebrate Study Group, Nature Society (Singapore). 180 pp.
G.W. H. and P. K. L. Ng and Ho Hua Chew, 2008. The Singapore
Red Data Book: Threatened plants and animals of Singapore.
Nature Society (Singapore). 285 pp.
Charles M. 2001. Mammals
of South-East Asia
New Holland Publishers. 128 pp.