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Submitted by: All at IOSF

WOD 2020 logo

We would like to wish everyone a very happy World Otter Day and thank you all for everything you are doing to make people aware of otters and how important they are to the environment.

So many people are taking part all over the world. There is, of course, a lot going on through social media but some people have come up with novel ways to celebrate. Sharon Lashley is having an indoor scavenger hunt and will donate £1 for every otter-related thing she finds. Great idea Sharon.

Small world map

Here at IOSF we are taking part in Webinars in Nepal, Russia, Morocco and Tunisia. We are also joining a webinar with Climate Change North for World Environment Day.

Chinese poster for WOD

This poster has been produced by Shanc of Green Journey Studio in China to tell people that "Wild animals are not playthings. They only belong to nature. Only in the natural environment can they live freely and happily, away from pain and abuse. Wildlife protection and ecological protection will never be a matter of one or two people or one or two organizations. Only the participation of all people can bring more hope for protection. The last Wednesday of May every year is World Otter Day founded by IOSF. On this day, I hope more people can use their own ways to speak for "otters". Your voice is your hope.

We couldn't have put it better.

So keep sharing posts through social media and raise our joined voices for the otters.

26 May 2020 - 1 day until World Otter Day

Submitted by: Ben

Tomorrow is WORLD OTTER DAY!

The Southern River otter lives in the most inhospitable ranges of all of the otter species. They are found in the Patagonia region of South America, in Chile and Argentina. This species is one of the rarest, and least seen, species across the world.

Southern river

©Jose Luis Bartheld

25 May 2020 - 2 days until World Otter Day

Submitted by: Ben

The Smooth-coated otter’s most famous populations live in Singapore where they have become a large part of the daily life of many of the country’s residents. The famous Bishan and Marina family are regularly seen in the waterways of the city.
More recently, smooth-coated otters have also been seen around Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur.

It’s the largest otter found in Asia and gets its name from its shorter, smoother looking fur. This species is a large part of the fur trade across the continent and has seen populations decline from this, and other aspects.


©Anjani Kumar

24 May 2020 - 3 days until World Otter Day

Submitted by: Ben

The Congo Clawless otter, as the name suggests, live in the Congo River basin in Africa.

It is very similar to the African Clawless otter with a noticeable white front. It is the rarest and least seen of all otter species in Africa.


©Rita Chapman

23 May 2020 - 4 days until World Otter Day

Submitted by: Ben

The Marine otter lives on the pacific coasts of Chile and Peru.

Unlike other coastal otter species, the Marine otter does not wash its fur in fresh water when coming out of salt water. This is because it has a more rigid fur to protect it from rocks if it is in rough waters.



22 May 2020 - 5 days until World Otter Day

Submitted by: Ben

The Neotropical otter can be found from Mexico down to South America. It has a large home range but very little is known about its distribution. It is a very shy and elusive species and is therefore very hard to spot and track.

Although much smaller than the Giant otter, the Neotropical otter has been cheekily spotted checking out Giant otter holts on Save the Giants Camera Traps Guyana when their larger cousins are away.


©Laura Raquel Recinos

21 May 2020 - 6 days until World Otter Day

Submitted by: Ben

The Eurasian otter is the only species of otter that can be found in Europe. Its range spreads from Ireland to South Korea and most of the countries in between. It has also been found at nearly 4,000 above sea level in the foothills of the Himalayas.



20 May 2020 - 7 days until World Otter Day

Submitted by: Ben

The African Clawless otter can be found across much of sub-Saharan Africa – excluding the range occupied by its similar-looking relative, the Congo Clawless otter.

As its name suggests their lack of claws means more dexterity and “hand-like” paws. This helps them eat prey such as worms and snails that they can hold.

African Clawless

©Tony Goy Photography

19 May 2020 - 8 days until World Otter Day

Submitted by: Ben

Despite being smaller that the Giant otter, the Sea otter is the heaviest of any species and can grow up to 45kg in weight. They live across the pacific coasts of Mexico, USA, Canada, Russia and sometimes Japan. As their name suggests, the Sea otter spends much of its life in the water but does come to land on occasions.

The Sea otter’s fur is the densest fur of any animal in the world and has 150,000 hairs per square centimetre – that is the size of your thumbnail.

Sea Otter 2

©Tabea Lanz

18 May 2020 - 9 days until World Otter Day

Submitted by: Ben

The Asian short-clawed otter is the smallest otter found across the world. As they are so small, and undeniably cute, the otter is highly sought after for the pet trade, particularly in Asia. Mother otters are killed trying to protect their young and her cubs are forced into a life of cruelty and neglect.

IOSF is passionate about ensuring that more is done to protect otters and inform people that these are not pets. Peoples love and passion for otters should be concentrated on helping wild populations and not ownership.

Wild. Means. Wild.


©Diana Limjoco

17 May 2020 - 10 days until World Otter Day

Submitted by: Ben

The spotted-necked otter is widespread across sub-Saharan Africa. Despite living across a large range there is not a lot of information on the species within much of that.

Similar to the Giant otter, this species has unique spots on their neck and their fur is much darker, almost black, in comparison to other species across the globe.


©Derek Keats

16 May 2020 - 11 days until World Otter Day

Submitted by: Ben

One of the two species of otter that lives in North America. The North American River Otter lives in a number of different wetland habitats across their range and, despite their name, do occupy coastal ecosystems as well as rivers.

The North American River Otter is the only species of otter that has a ‘Stable’ population. However, they are legally hunted across.


©John Pennell

15 May 2020 - 12 days until World Otter Day

Submitted by: Ben

Today is the turn of one of the rarest species of otter in the world. Thought to be extinct in the late 90s the Hairy-nosed otter was found once again shortly after. It started after a young cub was found in the pet trade and since then, populations have been found across a number of South-east Asian countries.

The species gets its name, as you probably guessed, from the fact it has a hairy nose, unlike other species that have no hairs.


©Conservation International

14 May 2020 - 13 days until World Otter Day

Submitted by: Ben

Over the next 13 days, and the countdown to World Otter Day, we are going highlight every species of otter that we are privileged to live alongside.

World Otter Day was started to raise awareness for otters and their conservation so we want to highlight all 13 amazing species.

We start with the world’s largest otter, the Giant otter. As the name suggests, the Giant otter is the largest otter in the world and resides in the Amazonian basin in South America. Each individual otter is recognisable by the marks on its neck that stay the same throughout their lives. The live in small family groups and grow to around 2m in length – that’s a big otter.

IOSF was fortunate enough to see wild Giant otters during our 2019 workshop in Guyana with Save the Giants.

Giant Otter

©Ann Fulcher Photography

14 May 2020 - Join in our 13 Challenge

Submitted by: Grace

Some of you may have taken part in the 2.6 challenge which was held to raise funds for charities when the London Marathon was cancelled.In fact Sian Stephens has been doing it for IOSF which is wonderful - support her fundraiser here

We decided that we would hold a special 13 challenge for World Otter Day. We are using 13 as this is the number of otter species in the world and so it will create more awareness. So what we are asking you to do is to set yourself a challenge to achieve 13 of an activity. Here are some suggestions for possible 13 activities:

• 13 miles or km run
• 13 hour silence
• Do something for 13 days in a row
• Bake 13 cakes
• Have a quiz/online party with 13 friends

Post what you are doing on social media to tell the world how important it is to save the 13 species. And if you can link it to a fundraiser that would be great.

If you need any help with otter facts, otter pictures or anything else – feel free to contact


Otter Takeover

06 May 2020 - Meet our latest arrival and find out more in our latest e-update

Submitted by: Grace

Bealltainn small

This is Bealltainn, our latest arrival. She was found in a garden on 1 May and so was named after the Gaelic May Day.

You can read more about her and other otter news in our latest e-update

01 May 2020 - World Otter Day

Submitted by: Ben

World Otter Day fast approaches!

IOSF #WorldOtterDay is going to be very different due to the current global situation but we can still make it have a massive impact.
For those that can no longer hold an event, we are going make the 27th of May an OTTER TAKEOVER! This means that everyone will know it is World Otter Day and can't miss it.

So, how can YOU help?
• Post on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all about otters, both in the
lead up to the day and on the day.
• Share and tag your friends in IOSF posts to raise awareness of otter
conservation and our cause. We are going to put out regular posts that
you can share!
• Encourage your friends to post as well, the more people that post, the
more people we will reach.
• Use #WorldOtterDay
• Tag IOSF in your posts.
o Facebook - @InternationalOtterSurvivalFund
o Instagram – @IOSF_Otters
o Twitter - @IOSF

If you need any help with otter facts, otter pictures or anything else – feel free to contact us at

On our own we can do so little, together, we can do so much!

Otter Takeover


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