The mission of the Himalayan Otter Network is to foster a partnership connecting conservationists and researchers across the Himalayan region in order to strengthen the protection of otters living in the rivers and wetlands of this spectacular landscape.
Mountainous parts of Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, China and Bhutan share similar natural environments and human lifestyles, and otters in these countries all face similar pressures from illegal trade, habitat pollution and poaching. We seek to strengthen communication among partners, facilitate collaboration, share information and best conservation practices, and create sustainable community partnerships to protect Himalayan otters.
Our vision for the future includes a safe natural landscape for otter populations, coupled with abundant and clean water resources for human communities.
The Himalayan Region
The Himalayan Region has some of the most magnificent, diverse and healthy landscapes in the world. Three species of otters inhabit the abundant rivers and wetlands on the flanks of the Himalaya Mountains: the small-clawed otter (Aonyx cinereus), the smooth-coated otter (Lutrogale perspicillata) and the Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra). They are all experiencing population declines in the Himalayan region.
Otters across the region face similar threats to their well-being: increasing human pressure on water resources, hydroelectric development, overfishing and illegal poaching for their pelts. However the commitment of governments in the Himalayan region to conservation and to the enforcement of laws protecting otters from illegal trade is rising. The growing number of dedicated ecologists, conservationists, and community activists in the region is also a hopeful trend.