IUCN Otter Specialist Group . . . leading global otter conservation Last Update: Friday October 4, 2013
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3rd October 2013 Asian Otter Conservation Meet 25-29 November 2013, Bangalore, India: Workshop on Research Methods & Conservation Planning
The Asian Otter Conservation Meet will take place at the National Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore, India  25-29 November, 2013. Taking the form of a Workshop on Research Methods & Conservation Planning it will also include case studies from across the region, poster presentations and a field trip to the River Cauvery to watch otters and interact with local fishermen. This is also a good opportunity to interact with otter researchers from other places and also experts from the Otter Specialist Group.  Full info here
11th April 2013 Quadrennial Reappointment of Group Membership
Under the rules of the IUCN Species Survival Commission, all members of specialist groups must be appointed by the Chair to serve for the next four years (the Quadrennium).  The Otter Specialist Group is currently reviewing and reappointing members for the period 2012 - 2016.
As a result, responses to membership applications, enquiries and so on will be delayed as this process takes a great deal of time.
8th September 2012 Sea Otters fighting Climate Change
Sea otters love to eat sea urchins, reducing the number that eat the kelp, enabling the kelp forests to absorb more CO2.  Kep forests are one of the biggest CO2 absorbers we know of.  Read ...
19 - 23rd March 2012 Die "Wölfe der Flüsse"

Christof Schenck in a four part podcast/radio interview about Giant Otters for Radio Österreich 1 in their series "Vom Leben der Natur"   Website

30th January 2012 Saving the World's Biggest Otter!

Jessica Groenendijk talks to Monga Bay about conservation of Pteronura brasiliensis in Peru.  Read ...

21st October 2011 OSG supports abolishment of "No Otter Zone" for Sea Otters

The Otter Specialist Group (OSG) of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) supports the USFWS proposal to remove the regulation governing the southern sea otter translocation program and the “No Otter Zone” (FWS–R8–FHC–2011–0046). A formal letter to this effect has been sent by Nicole Duplaix (Chair), Angela Doroff and Jim Estes (Sea Otter Group) to xxxx  Letter (PDF 283 KB)

24th September 2011 Sea Otter Awareness Week 2011

Sea Otter Awareness Week runs from 25th September to 1st October with events all along the West Coast of the USA.  This is organised by Defenders of Wildlife.  Read more on their website ...
Angie Doroff, Sea Otter Contact for OSG, is speaking at one of the events in Homer, Alaska, on "Sea Otters: World Status and Conservation Issues".  Poster (PDF 328 KB)

12th July 2011 Nicole Duplaix appointed Chair of OSG

Following a meeting of the IUCN Species Survival Commission Steering Group,  Nicole Duplaix has been appointed the next Chair of the Otter Specialist Group

23rd March 2011 Jim Conroy: Life’s journey is over

Sadly, Jim Conroy, Chair of OSG, passed away last night.

1st March 2011 Nicole Duplaix is now Acting Chair of the Otter Specialist Group

Following the serious illness of Jim Conroy, Chair of OSG, he has submitted his resignation, and Nicole Duplaix, formerly Deputy Chair, is now Acting Chair of the group pending appointment of a replacement by the IUCN Species Survival Commission

1st January 2011 Planning for the 11th International Otter Colloquium in Pavia, Italy has begun

The 11th Colloquium will be held on Pavia, 31 August - 4 September 2011, following its postponement in 2010.

The website has been re-activated and is http://www.internationalottercolloquium2010.eu/ 


25th July 2010 World’s most endangered otter ‘rediscovered’ in Deramakot, Borneo

KOTA KINABALU, July 25 — The world’s most endangered otter species, known as the hairy-nosed otter (Lutra sumatrana), has been “rediscovered” in Deramakot Forest Reserve in Sabah by a team of German and Malaysian researchers.
The last confirmed record of the hairy-nosed otter in Sabah is a museum specimen collected over a hundred years ago. “Even over the whole island of Borneo, the last record – a road-kill from Brunei – was 1997, over ten years ago. Therefore it was unknown to scientists if this species can be still found on Borneo,” stated Andreas Wilting, the project leader of the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW).
The ConCaSa project used automated camera traps that were set up in Deramakot and the surrounding forest reserves during the last two years. As the different otter species look very similar the hairy-nosed otter, pictures had to first be verified by a number of experts before they were published recently by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Species Survival Commission journal.

One of the next steps in the conservation of Bornean carnivores is the First Borneo Carnivore Symposium in Kota Kinabalu, in June 2011.

This symposium organised by the SWD, three IUCN/SSC Specialist Groups and the IZW will be a landmark international meeting, bringing together scientists, government agencies and non-governmental organisations (NGO) working on the protection of the Bornean carnivores.

Read more ...

26th April 2010 "Otter Bread" on Sale in Luxembourg; Proceeds to help Otters

The bread on saleOtter pawprint in bread!The Cactus supermarket chain in Luxembourg has launched a new bread called "Natur Brout" as part of its "Natierlech" campaign, which was launched in 2008, and is aimed at protecting the environment. 10c from the sale of each loaf goes to the campaign, which supports Fondation Hëllef fir d'Natur.

The bread contains sunflower, flax, pumpkin, poppy and sesame seed, and is made in the region the traditional way.

Natur BroutSadly for those of us outside Luxembourg, the bread is only available in the Grand Duchy.

Read more ...

28th September 2008 Twin Sea Otter Pups in Medny Islands

Dear colleagues,

This summer in the Medny Isl. (the Commander Islands) we observed a sea otter female with TWO newborn pups! of 9th of July.

We observed there white-haired sea otter female too.

Warmest wishes, Nadezhda


Nadezhda Zimenko
Research worker ~
All Russian Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography (VNIRO)
107140 Moscow,
Verkhnyaya Krasnoselskaya 17
tel: +7(499) 264-4583

18th September 2008 Asia's Rarest Otter Species found in Vietnam!

Dear Otter Specialist Group

We have just produced a press release from the Carnivore and Pangolin Conservation Program, Cuc Phuong National Park, Vietnam about rediscovering Hairy-nosed Otter in U Minh Ha National Park, Mekong Delta, Southern Vietnam.

Here are two photos of Hairy-nosed Otter which were taken directly in U Minh Ha national Park.

Photo 1 | Photo 2

Best warm regards,


Nguyen Van Nhuan
Research Officer

Carnivore and Pangolin Conservation Program (CPCP)
Cuc Phuong National Park,
Ninh Binh,

Tel: +84(0)30 848 053
Mobile: +84 (0) 915 526 980
Email: asianotter@gmail.com
Postal: PO BOX 179, Hanoi GPO, Vietnam

21st August 2008 Assistance Needed with Otter DNA Analysis in Vietnam
Dear Otter Specialist Group,

I am Nhuan, Field Researcher and OSG member. Now I am working in Carnivore and Pangolin Conservation Program, Cuc Phuong National Park, Vietnam.

At present, we have just finished field surveys in U Minh Ha National Park, Mekong Delta. The key species of our field survey is that hairy-nosed otter, smooth-coated otter, Eurasian otter, Small Clawed otter. We found out the Small-clawed otter and Hairy-nosed otter distributing together in the study site already.

During the field surveys and social surveys in the past few months, we collected some pieces of different fur of otters, but we don't know what is the exactly species of otter. Maybe hairy-nosed otter or small-clawed otter or another species. If this species belong to another species of otter, so it is a interesting result!

Now we are very interested in finding out what are the specimens belong what species of otter? Due to we are not able to get funding for DNA analyze. Can you anybody be able to help us to analyze DNA or let us know who can be willing to help and support us to analyze Otter DNA freely. If we find out what exactly number of species of otters are distributed together, it is very useful for next surveys on ecology and behaviour of otters and conducting conservation actions in the area.

Thank you so much in advance,

Best warm regards,


Nguyen Van Nhuan
Research Officer

Carnivore and Pangolin Conservation Program (CPCP)
Cuc Phuong National Park,
Ninh Binh,

Tel: +84(0)30 848 053
Mobile: +84 (0) 915 526 980
Email: asianotter@gmail.com
Postal: PO BOX 179, Hanoi GPO, Vietnam
12th August 2008 Life Sciences Publishing Tips

A big hello to all my old "otter" friends!

Just to let you know, I am presently working for an editorial company (www.EnglishEditorialServices.com) in the Czech Republic where I am busy setting up a new Life Sciences Division (we handle lots of veterinary, forestry and genetics work already...but no otter papers yet!).

As part of our work, we have recently published a bulletin (Life Science Research No. 1) that addresses many of the mistakes made by those wishing to publish. If you don’t know why your papers keep getting sent back – this might help! It was aimed originally at non-native speakers of English, but we believe it will also be of interest to all scientists, researchers, teachers and students, as well as journal editors. Please feel free to send it on to anyone else you think might find it of interest.

If anyone needs to contact me in the future I can be contacted at kevin.roche@hotmail.com or at the address below.

All the best and hope to see you all again one day soon!

Dr. Kevin F. Roche CSc

Life Sciences Editor (and not so busy otter researcher)
English Editorial Services, s.r.o.
Černopolní 57
613 00 Brno
Czech Republic
E-mail: kevin@EnglishEditorialServices.com
Web:    www.EnglishEditorialServices.com

1st August 2008 Martes Working Group 2008 Newsletter

The Martes Working Group is currently accepting material for its 2008 Newsletter.  Any research updates, photos, etc. related to Martes spp would be welcome.  Please submit material to Amie Mazzoni, Newsletter Editor, by September 15th.  

30th July 2008 EOW-08: Registration closes 31st July!

Registration for the European Otter Workshop closes on 31st July. Regstration after this date will be subject to there being room, and will cost more!
Last Invitation

30th July 2008 European Consultation on Conservation Status Assessments

EU member states with otters (22) have reported on the conservation status in the biogeographically regions of their country according to the EEC Habitats Directive. The EU commission has followed this up with announcing a public consultation period for these assessments from 28. July to 15 September 2008
Read more ...

20th July 2008 California Sea Otters: Population Recovery Continues at Slower Rate

California's southern sea otter, a threatened population on the Endangered Species list, continues to recover, but at a rate that appears to have slowed.
Read more ...

19th April 2008 IOC 10 Presentations going online

Many of the presentations from the Xth International Otter Colloquium (South Korea) are now being put online. Some are publicly available, some need your OSG user name and password to access. This is intended as a stop-gap until the proceedings are published.