After north Telangana and Kapra lake in the city, smooth-coated otters have now been spotted near Gundlapally of Nalgonda.
The mammal is listed as an endangered animal by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
The state forest department’s wildlife wing has decided to conserve the water body where the otters were spotted as sightings have reduced recently indicating threats to the fish-eating mammal.
Zoologist and professor of Osmania University, C Srinivasulu told TOI, “In Telangana, Smooth-Coated Otters were reported as a common species found in the Godavari and Krishna river basin two decades ago. From 1995 to 2000, our team has conducted an extensive survey and recorded the population of otters in eight to 10 locations. But since then, the sightings have gone down.
” For this Prof Srinivasulu mentioned two reasons. “Unchecked fishing activity in the waterbodies harm otter htt habitats. They often get entangled in the nets and the fishermen hunt them as well. Due to this, otter population is restricted to major river systems in protected areas where fishing activity is regulated,” he said.
Three years ago, Smooth-Coated Otters were spotted in Kapra apart from Udayasamudram in Nalgonda.
“We thought it will make the lake its habitat,” Prof Srinivasulu said, adding, “The sighting is reported due to increased awareness and maybe the otters are also exploring new territories.”