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Today on World's Otter Day, we take you on a journey through wildlife (otters) trafficking in India.

World Otter Day is an annual celebration of Otters which is on the last Wednesday of May every year. A day to raise awareness about the otters and the treats they are facing today for its survival in the wild, such as habitat destruction, the illegal fur and pet trades, pollution and hunting. We aim to encourage as many people as possible to be involved in spreading the word and supporting our work in otter conservation.

India is a hotspot of otter poaching, according to a 2016 report by TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network.

Of the 167 otter seizures in South and Southeast Asia between 1980 and 2015 — consisting of around 6,000 otters — 53 percent seizures involved India, the TRAFFIC team found. This intense otter trade mainly caters to China’s demand for otter skin and fur and persists despite India’s native otter species being protected by national law.


The total number of formally recorded seizures, however, are likely to represent only a fraction of the actual illegal otter trade, the report says. This is because annual seizure records for most of the study period, 1980-2015, are either absent or incomplete. Moreover, the otter trade is secretive in nature and much of the trade goes undetected, the authors write.

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