Evidence for persistence and a major range extension of the smooth-coated otter (Lutrogale perspicillata maxwelli; Mustelidae, Carnivora) in Iraq

مستخلص المنشور: 

The species ‘Vulnerable’, due to an inferred future population decline caused by habitat loss and sustained exploitation. Thestatus of the Arabian subspecies (L. p. maxwelli) occurring in the Tigris marshes of Iraq and Iran is uncertain

IUCN conservation status of smooth-coated otter (Lutrogale perspicillata) is consideredmeasures in thodue to political roblems and limited access to this border region in recent years. With this study we couldconfirm the persistence of the smooth-coated otter in the marshlands of southern Iraq by using a mitochondrialmarker (cytochrome b). Moreover, a second sample from Kurdistan was also identified to be L. perspicillata.This observation represents a major range extension of more than 500 km for this poorly known species. It isrecommended to undertake further surveys of suitable habitat in the Tigris wetlands, as well as in Kurdistan,to obtain additional information on the distribution of smooth-coated otter in Iraq, and implement conservationse areas

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