20 March 2019 Current Affairs: 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).
Otters live on fish and spend much of its time in or close to water bodies. A growing or healthy population of otters means the water bodies are pollution-free. Clean water bodies mean a healthy ecosystem of the forest.
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.
Pilibhit Tiger Reserve
♦ Pilibhit Tiger Reserve spreads across Pilibhit district, Lakhimpur Kheri District and Bahraich District of Uttar Pradesh
♦ It 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, wild boar, hog deer, swamp deer, blue bull etc.