Asian Small-Clawed Otters

About Asian Small-Clawed Otters

The playful Asian Small-Clawed Otter may play a "small" role in the sea lion show, but what they lack in size they make up for in spirit.

Predominately found in southeast Asia, this otter is territorial. They stake their claim with scent and actively patrol their grounds, defending it when necessary.

Asian Small-Clawed Otters are considered semi-social. Scent is the most important communication for all freshwater otters. Each otter's scent is as individual as a fingerprint. Asian Small-Clawed Otters also communicate vocally, with a repertoire of at least 12 calls. 

A Closer Look

You can see Asian Small-Clawed Otters in action at their exhibit Pacific Point Preserve. Or, look closely for them to make brief, but powerful, appearances in the Clyde & Seamore shows.

Ask an Educator

Q: Where are Asian Small-Clawed Otters found?
SW: They are native to Southeast Asia from northern India to southeastern China, the Malay Peninsula, and parts of Indonesia.

Q: Are they endangered?
SW: This species is listed as "near threatened" by the IUCN. All otters have been exploited for their thick, velvety fur. All species of otters are protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), a worldwide treaty developed in 1973 to regulate trade in wildlife species.

Q: What do they eat?
SW: Asian Small-Clawed Otters feed mainly on crustaceans, mollusks, and frogs.

Q: How big do they get?
SW: Typically this species is about 3 feet long and 7 to 10 pounds.