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Source: The post is based on the article “Eurasian otter raises hope for J&K stream” published in The Hindu on 16th March 2023
What is the News?
A team of scientists has spotted Eurasian otters in the Neeru stream of the Chenab catchment.
What is Eurasian Otter?
Scientific Name: Lutra lutra
It is an elusive, solitary otter that has one of the widest distributions.
Range: Its range covers parts of three continents: Europe, Asia and Africa .In India, it is present in northern, northeast and southern India.
Habitat: In the Indian subcontinent, Eurasian otters occur in cold hills and mountain streams. During summer (April – June) in the Himalayas, they may ascend up to 3,660 m.
IUCN Red List: Near Threatened
CITES: Appendix I
Indian Wildlife Protection Act, 1972: Schedule II
What is Neeru?
Neeru is a tributary of the Chenab river. It is a 30km perennial stream that originates in the Kailash Lake at 3,900 meters above mean sea level and drains into the Chenab at PulDoda.
Fed by 13 major tributaries, Neeru flows through several small villages, semiurban and urbanized areas with Bhaderwah being the largest settlement.
What is the significance of spotting Eurasian Otters near Neeru river?
Eurasian otters are regarded as a flagship species and indicator of high-quality aquatic habitats. Its presence is encouraging for the health of the Neeru stream.