Smooth-coated otter (Lutrogale perspicillata) was sighted for the first time in the mangrove forest adjacent to the Krishna Wildlife Sanctuary in Krishna district. In all, seven otters including a family of four, were found in a playful mood and the rest were photographed while preying on the fish in the brackish waters.
Until now, there was no sighting of the otter in the KWS to document, according to the Wildlife Division of the Forest Department, Eluru. The forest authorities with the support of a local wetland researcher A. Venkata Appa Rao have documented the presence of the Smooth-coated otter in the mangrove forests and brackish water channels in Eelachetladibba and Lankevennedibba and other areas outside the KWS.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), conservation status of the Smooth-coasted Otter, distributed throughout South Asia and South East Asia is, ‘vulnerable.’ “Presence of the otter is a key indicator for rise of the mangrove cover. We have recorded the presence of the otter in the mangroves of Krishna district, particularly in Nagayalanka mandal in early October,” Divisional Forest Officer (Wildlife) N. Nageswara Rao said. The otter lives in rivers, lakes, peat swamp forests, mangroves and estuaries. It uses swamps as natal den sites and nursery during early winter, the breeding season.