A remote camera set up in Borneo photographed a very rare otter. The species is so rare some believed it could be extinct. The camera photographed the otter in Dermakot forest in Sabah, a state of Malaysian Borneo. One had not been seen since 1997. That one was deceased and had been killed by a car. “These findings also boost the conservation of this endangered otter internationally, as historically this otter was distributed throughout large parts of southeast Asia,” says Dr. Laurentius Ambu, director of the Sabah Wildlife Department. The species is considered to be one of the most endangered otters in the world. They have been subjected to poaching, and their habitats have been polluted and diminished.
A Similar Otter Species in Captivity
Sabah Wildlife Department and Sabah Forestry Department collaborates with the Conservation of Carnivores in Sabah (ConCaSa) project which was started by the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW).
The Small Carnivore Conservation group studies wild animals like civets and otters for the purpose of conserving their dwindling numbers. Their work has used remote cameras to photograph Borneo’s wild cat species and to record the first video of the otter civet. (Note that the otter civet is not the same otter as mentioned above.)
Derkamot Forest Reserve was created to protect the area from unsustainable logging practices. It is over 100,000 acres with about 30 percent of the area with very poor forest due to previous logging. The habitat is tropical rainforest. Most of the land is managed for sustainable logging. A small portion has been set aside for conservation only.
Photo by: Mohamed; Wilting, SWD, SFD.