A medium-sized otter, around 1.3m in length and weighing around 7kg. The paws are fully webbed with well-developed claws. The fur is dark brown above, slightly paler underneath with a contrasting pale chin and upper lip. The whole nasal area (rhinarium) is covered in short, dark fur.
DNA work has established that this is a true species - some authors previously considered it to be a subspecies of Lutra lutra. It was believed to be extinct in 1998, but four tiny populations have been found since then.
CITES Identification Sheet
The tiny amount of information available suggests this species inhabits peat swamp forests and shallow, coastal oceanic waters.
This species is known from the very small number of recent sightings and roadkill to definitly occur in southern Sumatra, southern Thailand, south west Cambodia and south Viet Nam. It is possible that there are populations in Lao People's Democratic Republic, Malaysia and elsewhere in Indonesia.
Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered
Year Assessed: 2008
Assessors: Hussain, S.A., Kanchanasakha, B., de Silva, P.K. & Olson, A.
Evaluators: Conroy, J. (Otter Red List Authority) & Schipper, J. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
There is no information available about population size or the number of mature animals. There is only fragmented reliable information about the species' geographic range.
Very little is known, but it is likely that this species is threatened by destruction of peat swamp forests for logging and agriculture, and a very high degree of populaton fragmentation making populations numerically vulnerable.
Research is critically needed on all aspects of this species' ecology and biology. It is protected at international and national levels, but legislation at local level, and its enforcement are urgently needed. This species is so rare that there is a good case for ex situ conservation measures (captive breeding and maintenance) to be undertaken.
Source: Padma K de Silva,
IUCN/SSC Asian coordinator
||Home range studies on hairy nosed otter
||Survey on the status and distribution of hairy nosed otter in Sumatra (Indonesia).
|N. X. Dang & Hiroshi Sasaki
||DNA studies on hairy nosed otters.
- Lubis, R. (2005) First Recent Record of Hairy-Nosed Otter in Sumatra, Indonesia. IUCN Otter Spec. Group Bull. 18(1): 14 - 20
- Kanchanasaka, B. K.(2001) Tracks and Other Signs of the Hairy-Nosed Otter (Lutra sumatrana). IUCN Otter Spec. Group Bull. 18(2): 57 - 63
- Nguyen, X.D., Pham, T.A. & Le, H.T. (2001) New Information about the Hairy-Nosed Otter (Lutra sumatrana) in Vietnam . IUCN Otter Spec. Group Bull. 18(2): 64 - 75
- Budsabong, K.S. (2000). The status of otters in Thailand and a note on the discovery of three hairy-nosed otter cubs. Proceedings of the Workshop on conservation and public awareness of otters. December 9-12, 2000, Taiwan.
- Long, B. (2000) The Hairy-Nosed Otter (Lutra sumatrana) in Cambodia. IUCN Otter Spec. Group Bull. 17(2): 91
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