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 Chairman: Prof. D. P. Giridhar & Dr. T. V. Ramachandra

Habitat of the Smooth Coated Otter, Lutra perspicillata, (Carnivora: Mustelidae) in the Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary, South India

Kausalya Shenoy, Surendra Varma and Devi Prasad K. V.


This study is an attempt to elucidate factors that determine the choice of home area of the smooth coated otter, Lutra perspicillata, along the river banks and islands, in the Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary. The study was carried out over a period of eight weeks between January 2002 and mid-March 2002.  A 5km stretch was chosen as the intensive study area. Various habitat parameters were looked for and assessed. It was found that in general, otter sites varied significantly from non-otter sites. High percentage of loose sand and low percentage of hard sand seemed to be the important factors governing site selection by otters. Otters seemed to avoid areas having high levels of human disturbance.  This study has categorised the preferred habitat of otters, which is of importance to conservation.

Address: Ecologist, Bangalore, Karnataka, India.
Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, 
Bangalore 560 012. Karnataka. India
Salim Ali School of Ecology and Environmental Sciences,
Pondicherry University, Pondicherry, India.