World Otters Day Celebrated in Nepal

Posted on May, 29 2024

29th May 2024: World Otters Day was celebrated in Nepal by WWF Nepal in collaboration with the Government of Nepal.  The event was organized at Tikapur-1, Kailali on  May 29th 2024 with implementing partners Sonaha Bikas Samaj (SBS), Dolphin Conservation Centre(DCC), Small Mammal Conservation and Research Foundation(SMCRF), and Freed Kamaiya Women Development Forum (FKWDF)  highlighting the importance otters in our ecosystem and need for their conservation and habitat management.

The event also launched the Otter mascot named “Sakhi”  meaning friend in the Tharu language. The mascot will be used in the coming days to spread awareness about otters to the local communities. Sakhi will also voice the importance of  halting illegal and destructive fishing while also promoting sustainable riverbed sand and gravel extraction.

There are 13 species of otters worldwide, of which Nepal is home to three (Smooth-coated otter, Eurasian Otter and Asian small clawed otter.) Smooth coated otters listed as vulnerable species in IUCN red list , are charismatic creatures that play a crucial role in maintaining healthy aquatic ecosystems. However, otters are currently at risk due to the increasing pressures on their natural habitats. World Otter Day aims to educate the public about these challenges and inspire action to safeguard the future of these remarkable species.

 “World Otter Day has been an opportunity for everyone to come together and make a positive impact on the future of otters," said Rajesh Sada, Head of Freshwater Programs, WWF Nepal.

"The project aims to increase awareness and take action, so that we can help to ensure that otters continue to thrive in the wild for coming generations” said Bijay Raj Shrestha, Dolphin Conservation Centre .

The celebration of the Otter Day was done under WWF Nepal’s project, “Strengthening Communities, livelihood, and stewardship to conserve otter in Karnali” funded by the UK Government through the Darwin Initiative.
Sakhi, the otter mascot
Sakhi, the otter mascot launched on World Otter Day 2024.
© WWF Nepal