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Spotting of Indian otter at Karnataka’s Malyadi bird sanctuary creates a stir

Representational image. Indian otter which is also called Neeru Nayi was spotted in Malyadi bird sanctuary

The popular Malyadi bird sanctuary which is a favourite of tourists and wildlife lovers, made news as an Indian otter was spotted there. The sighting of these carnivorous mammals which is called “Neeru Naayi” in local language in the sanctuary located in the Udupi district of Karnataka has created quite a stir.

The arrival of otters in the sanctuary, wildlife experts feel needs to be studied to understand if they will threaten the birds in this haven which is an abandoned clay quarry spread over 1.5 sq km. The marshland was created as a result of excessive rain water accumulation over excavated land. The local people have informed that the otters feed on fish and don’t cause any harm to the birds.

The sanctuary is favoured by a large number of birds including the whistling teals, white ibis, spot-billed ducks, little cormorants, combed ducks, common coots, and Eurasian teals. Among the migratory birds found here are golden plovers, green shanks, green sandpipers, black tailed godwits and common sandpipers.

During the breeding period from September to January this place is frequented by visitors in droves to watch birds and their activities like swooping down to catch fishes.

Sharing details about the otters, Prabhakar Kulal, Range Forest Officer informed that these animals had been sighted in groups of 8 to 10 in other areas too. They are protected under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.