Facts about animals

World Otter Day - When Is It and Why Celebrate?

Giulia Graziati
By Giulia Graziati, Writer. May 23, 2024
World Otter Day - When Is It and Why Celebrate?

World Otter Day takes place on Wednesday, 29th May 2024. This date has been celebrated since 2014 and arose as an initiative of the International Otter Survival Fund. The aim of this international day of otters is to raise awareness about otters in general, but also to help ensure their conservation. Sensitizing people to these adorable creatures can be difficult as some do not look far past their cuteness. Otter populations face various threats and we have a collective responsibility to reduce the harm to these aquatic mammals. Keep reading thedailyECO to learn more about when is World Otter Day and why is it celebrated?

You may also be interested in: When is World Turtle Day & Why Do We Celebrate?
  1. When is World Otter Day?
  2. Why is World Otter Day celebrated?
  3. How to celebrate World Otter Day

When is World Otter Day?

World Otter Day is celebrate on the last Wednesday of the month of May of each year. otters are a very friendly semi-aquatic carnivorous mammal of which there are 13 different extant species, all belonging to the Mustelidae family. World Otter Day has been celebrated since 2014 at the initiative of the International Otter Survival Fund. This year, World Otter Day will take place on Wednesday, 29th May 2024.

The 2020 IUCN World Conservation Congress had their annual session in Marseille, France. During this conference, they urged states with otter populations to support the goals of the Global Strategy of Otter Conservation, as well as other initiatives to address the threats that exist for these animals.

Here are the common and scientific names of otter species:

  • Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra)
  • Hairy-nosed otter (Lutra sumatrana)
  • African clawless otter (Aonyx capensis)
  • Asian small-clawed otter (Aonyx cinereus)
  • Congo clawless otter (Aonyx congicus)
  • Sea otter (Enhydra lutris)
  • Spotted-necked otter (Hydrictis maculicollis)
  • North American river otter (Lontra canadensis)
  • Marine otter (Lontra felina)
  • Neotropical otter (Lontra longicaudis)
  • Huillín (Lontra provocax
  • Smooth-coated otter (Lutrogale perspicillata)
  • Giant otter (Pteronura brasiliensis)

There is also one known extinct species of otter:

  • Japanese otter (Lutra nippon)

You may want to discover more about the various types of habitat in which otters live, many of which are under threat. You can do so with our article on the different types of aquatic ecosystems.

World Otter Day - When Is It and Why Celebrate? - When is World Otter Day?

Why is World Otter Day celebrated?

World Otter Day is celebrated with the aim of raising awareness and sensitizing society about the critical situation that this animal experiences every day. This is due to a wide range of threats which include deforestation, indiscriminate hunting, the trade in their skins, illegal possession, pollution and degradation of their natural habitats. Eight of the thirteen species of otters are on the IUCN red lists, meaning their populations are under serious threat.

Among the species at risk are the giant otter (Pteronura brasiliensis), marine otter (Lontra felina), Southern river otter (Lontra provocax), sea otter (Enhydra lutris), Asian small-clawed otter (Aonyx cinereus), smooth-coated otter (Lutrogale perspicillata), hairy-nosed otter (Lutra sumatrana) and the spotted-necked otter (Hydrictis maculicollis).

Otters are charismatic animals that help capture the attention of the general public. Above all, the purpose of World Otter Day is to seek government support not only for their conservation as a species, but also to promote care for the environments where they live. These are the various aquatic ecosystems which are home to a wide range of the world's biodiversity.

Otters are also considered an umbrella species, meaning their care also implies the protection of their food web. These types of aquatic mammals are also indicators of the health of the aquatic ecosystems in which they live. Their presence is vital to maintain ecological stability, since they control prey populations and provide nutrients to the environment.

World Otter Day not only seeks to protect these and other otter species, but also to promote the care of their natural environments. It can do so by raising awareness about the importance of otter habitat conservation.

Learn about the three types of species biodiversity with our related guide.

World Otter Day - When Is It and Why Celebrate? - Why is World Otter Day celebrated?

How to celebrate World Otter Day

Here are some ideas on how to celebrate World Otter Day in a meaningful way:

  • Reflect on the relationship that human beings have with the environment and other forms of life. Focus on what impacts are generated on ecosystems by our actions.
  • Support initiatives or organizations that promote the conservation and protection of biodiversity.
  • Disseminate and share pertinent information about these animals on social networks and learn about the different species of otter. This includes where they live, what they feed on, what roles they play within ecosystems and other roles they play in their ecosystems.
  • Know and disseminate information about the various conservation strategies that exist in different regions to protect otters.
  • Encourage the development of conservation plans with the aim of promoting actions that contribute to the protection of otters and other species that inhabit aquatic environments.
  • Carry out educational and recreational strategies (e.g. stories, plays, videos, paintings, images and events) that seek to raise awareness about the importance of otters.

By joining forces, raising awareness and increasing conservation efforts, we can contribute to a more sustainable future for otters. In doing so, we might be able to share our world with these beautiful creatures for a long time to come. Happy World Otter Day!

Now you know about the otter, you may want to learn about another types of aquatic mammal which is under threat. Do so by reading about whether the platypus is a mammal or bird.

If you want to read similar articles to World Otter Day - When Is It and Why Celebrate?, we recommend you visit our Facts about animals category.

  • IUCN. (2024). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
  • IUCN. (2020). World Conservation Congress, Marseille. https://www.iucncongress2020.org/es/motion/114
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World Otter Day - When Is It and Why Celebrate?