Smooth-coated otters spotted on Godavari island

An island in the Godavari, upstream Dowleswaram barrage in East Godavari district, has become a safe habitat for vulnerable Indian smooth-coated Otters (Lutrogale perspicillata).

Last week, an amateur wildlife photographer from Rajamahendravaram city, Suresh Kumar Uppuluri, began documenting the movements of the otters on the island.

“I have documented a group of four otters on the island that can only be reached by boat. The otters are a playful lot and hide in the bushes whenever they sense movements of the boat,” said Mr. Suresh Kumar.

“Over the past one week, I have been able to capture photographs of the four otters that appear to be young. The island, located at least one km upstream the Dowleswaram barrage, is always calm with no movements of outsiders,” Mr. Suresh Kumar added.

On being informed by local fishermen, the 40-year-old lensman managed to sight the otters and began the documentation.

“The movements of the otters are more frequent in the river water during the morning compared to the rest of the day,” he said. In the islands downstream Dowleswaram barrage, scores of black bucks have been sighted in recent years.

Habitations

In East Godavari district, Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary (KWS) is a habitat for the Indian smooth-coated otter. The sighting of otters in the Dowleswaram area is cause for celebration for the wildlife photographers and the Forest Department that had vast experience in conservation of otters in KWS.

In Andhra Pradesh, Krishna and Godavari estuaries are the prime habitats of otters that have been sighted and documented by the wildlife wing of the Forest Department.

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