Katrine is studying BSc Wildlife Conservation with a Year in Professional Practice. She has spend the last academic year working with Wild Otters based in India.
As her Year in Professional Practice draws to a close Katrine is working on data gathering for her final year dissertation. Here is a little update from Katrine on her work in Goa:
Smooth-coated otters (Lutrogale perspicillata) are semi-aquatic mammals; these apex predators are recognised as a keystone species playing a crucial role within the ecosystem. Their sensitivity to degradation along the food chain makes them sufficient indicators of a healthy ecosystem. Research is being conducted on Chorao Island in Goa located along the Mandovi River. The islands relatively small size coupled with an approximate population of 5000, leaves little undisturbed habitat for otters; in turn, the island is largely human dominated. The species are continuously adapting to live in this environment with such high anthropogenic activity.
To understand otter behaviour in this environment, I am conducting a behavioural study using camera traps. Three camera traps are currently placed across Chorao in the mangroves, focusing on three different groups of Smooth-coated otters. Through camera trapping, I aim to understand the behaviours of otters within a human dominated landscape. Using the recorded footage, I will understand the species’ activity budget in this environment.
You can find out more about Katrine’s adventures on her blog: https://wildotterswithkatrine.home.blog/