Hi my lovely readers,
As most of you already are aware, here at She Loves Blooms we make it a point to raise awareness about international humanitarian issues as well as animal rights. Our brooches are designed to be conversation starters, and we make it a point to come up with design ideas that highlight specific issues that are dear to our heart.
For this week’s blog, we decided to focus on Otters. We thought it appropriate to share some information with you all regarding this magnificent creature, that you may or may not have known, seeing as World Otter Day is only a few days away.
Otters are on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) red list, which basically means that their population is slowly declining. In fact, Otters were declared extinct in Singapore between the 1960s and 1970s. However, sightings in the 1990s actually confirmed their presence in the Sungei Buloh wetlands area! Now there are 3 main smooth-coated otter families in Singapore - Bishan otters, Marina otters and Zouk otters.
The IUCN was founded in 1964, and its main purpose was to provide a comprehensive inventory of the global conversation status of biological species. Their website is truly informative. They use a specific set of criteria to evaluate the extinction risk and status of over thousands of species and subspecies.
Otters are truly amazing creatures. When I was putting together this blog, I actually came to realize that there are 13 existing otter species - all are semiaquatic, aquatic or marine, and all have diets based on fish, crab, frogs, and other invertebrates. They are also highly intelligent; they are able to climb drains, travel across large areas of land to get to waterways, use rocks to open clams and other types of shellfish. Amazing eh? Not to mention, scientists usually consider otters as an indicator species - meaning that the are able to better understand a specific ecological conditions based on the otter population in that area.
Another pretty interesting fact: otters are part of the Lutrinae family, which includes weasels, badgers, mink, wolverines, ferrets, and others! Yup, who knew! Otters and Wolverines were relatives!
So herein lies the big question - what can we do to protect these lovely animals from being endangered?
Well, some of the biggest contributors to the decline in the numbers of otters has been habitat loss, poaching, and illegal trading. Below are some ways in which you and your community can help reverse the damage that has already been caused to the otter population. These strategies are simple, and don’t require you to go out of your way to implement. Remember, we must all play our part in the protection of our planet and everything in it.
1- Speak out and spread the word about the importance of otters to our overall ecosystem. You can even start small by informing your family!
2- Support environmental legislation such as the EPA, and vote for conservation candidates.
3- Ask your MP to prioritize the use of permeable pavers that allow rainwater to sink into the ground and replenish groundwater.
4- Dispose of your dog / cat waste in the trash. Their feces can be harmful to sea otters as well as other animals.
5- Drive slowly. Interestingly enough, many river otters fall casualties to car accidents that could have been prevented.
So, we leave you with this thought today…. Start a conversation! If you are not sure how to do so, our beautifully designed Ollie the Otter brooch might come in handy.
Until next week, lovelies!
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