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Asian Small-clawed Otter

Asian Small-clawed Otter
Scientific Name

Aonyx cinereus

Other Common Name(s)
Oriental Small-clawed Otter, Small-clawed Otter, Clawless Otter
Body Length

Head and body: up to 65 cm
Tail: 24.6-30.4 cm

Body Weight

Up to 5 kg

Around streams, rivers and wetlands in southeast Asia, including Thailand, Vietnam and southern China
Fun Facts

Fun Facts

  • Asian small-clawed otters are monogamous. They live with their extended family and form groups of about 12 members.

  • Asian small-clawed otters forage by using their front paws to dig in mud and search under stones. With strong and large teeth, they feed on fish, insects, crabs and molluscs such as clams and snails. They not only crush open shells, but may even leave them heating under the sun to ‘cook’ and open by themselves.

Threats & Conservation

IUCN Red List: Vulnerable
IUCN Red List: Vulnerable
CITES: Appendix I
CITES: Appendix I
Chinese Wildlife Conservation Law: Category 2

Asian small-clawed otters are threatened by habitat destruction through human development, including reclamation of wetlands, aquaculture and agriculture. Pollutants such as pesticides are carried in runoff to the habitats. Deforestation has additionally caused excess soil to silt rivers. The availability of the otters’ food also faces competition from humans.

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