One of Nurtured by Nature’s goals is to make known the plight of otters in the wild. Of the 13 species of otter, only one, the North American River Otter, may not be in significant decline (although it is hunted legally right here in North America to the tune of 40,000-50,000 animals trapped per year for the Asian fur market). The Asian Small Clawed Otter is considered vulnerable, which is one step below endangered, and by some estimates their population numbers have declined 30% over the last 30 years! Population studies are somewhat outdated, so these numbers are an estimate.
The saying, “Out of sight, out of mind” definitely rings true when it comes to the importance of animal ambassadors. We believe that by endearing people to otters they will feel a compassion and responsibility to help make the world a better place for them. We also hope that people will remember that, as an indicator species, if an otter population is healthy, then all other species and aspects of its environment are healthy as well. If a picture is worth a thousand words then an animal ambassador is worth a million!
Proof of the power of endearing an animal to the human population can be seen by simply looking at the differences between cultures regarding the poaching of rhinos and elephants. In cultures where these animals have been endeared to us from childhood, the slaughter and importation of rhino and elephant parts is never tolerated.
What You Can Do To Help Otters
We support and encourage others to support the International Otter Survival Fund. They are a grassroots organization dedicated to conserving the 13 species of otters worldwide through international education campaigns and conservation projects in their countries of origin. You can find out more about all species of otters, as well as financially support their efforts, through their website.
Starting in 2018 we have added another option for our guests. As Nurtured by Nature has grown, we are finally able to work on the last part of our mission statement which states, “Create innovative and sustainable conservation projects”. Through our Conservation level Otter Swim Encounter, we have established that $400 of every guest’s $600 program fee will be sent DIRECTLY to support conservation programs around the world! We have pledged to financially assist International Otter Survival Fund workshops.
The International Otter Survival Fund website explains that their “workshops are to train students from throughout south-east Asia in otter field techniques, public awareness programs, law enforcement and general conservation issues. Local government personnel are invited to attend to encourage better law enforcement and otter protection. Similar workshops have been extremely successful and their impact is ongoing in the community and has led to the demand for workshops in other parts of Asia. In upcoming workshops, 30 students will be trained so that they can then carry out their own research and education programs. Instructors will be drawn from IOSF and the IUCN Otter Specialists Group and they will provide their time for free.
Additional information and conservation opportunities can also be found at Otter Specialist Group
PLEASE STAY TUNED BECAUSE THERE IS MORE TO COME!