I came across this rather sad but unsurprising article in my twitter feed. Unfortunatley the only image I could find is of this stuffed one.
Japan’s Ministry of the Environment today declared the Japanese river otter (Lutra lutra whiteleyi) extinct. Last seen in 1979 in the city of Susaki on the island of Shikoku, the unique subspecies was killed-off by overhunting and loss of habitat due to development.
The extinction of the Japanese river otter represents another loss in Japan’s endemic mammal. Already the nation has seen the extinction two wolves, two bats, and a sea lion: the Honshu wolf (Canis lupus hodophilax) and the Hokkaid? wolf (Canis lupus hattai); Sturdee’s pipistrelle (Pipistrellus sturdeei) and the Okinawa flying fox (Pteropus loochoensis); and the Japanese sea lion (Zalophus californianus japonicus).
Up until the Twentieth Century, the Japanese river otter was common in rivers across the country, feeding on fish and shrimp. Several expeditions to discover the mammal were undertaken in the 1990s. Yoshihiko Machida, a researcher at Kochi University, told The Japan Daily Press that he believes the animal may still survive based on scat found in 1999.
The Dyfi Osprey Project and the Scottish wildlife Trust have kindly given their permission for us to post still and video images from their webcams. To visit their sites please click on the relevant link. Loch of the Lowes. Dyfi Osprey Project.