What can you do?
Asian small-clawed otters are currently listed as “vulnerable” on the IUCN red list, which means that they are facing a higher risk of global extinction and their populations are currently in decline. They are naturally found in Indonesia, New Guinea, the Philippines, Southern India, and China.
The biggest threats facing Asian otters include the destruction of their freshwater wetland habitat and pollution of their food supply. Tea and coffee plantations, as well as the pursuit of palm oil, are destroying their natural habitat. Make sure to buy “fair trade” coffees and teas because these companies are not slashing and burning the entire forest in pursuit of these products. For more information on fair trade products and where to find them, please visit here.
Avoid buying products that contain palm oil, which is found in many spreadable foods, like margarine or peanut butter, and even in cleaning products and some cosmetics. The rainforest homes of otters in Southeastern Asia and Indonesia are being threatened by unsustainable harvesting of palm oil. To find out more about the importance of sustainable palm oil harvesting and what the Rainforest Alliance is doing to help, see here. To search for products containing palm oil that are certified by the Rainforest Alliance, see here. Together with the help of other zoos and aquariums, we are hoping to save this amazing species.