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IUCN/SCC Otter Specialist Group Bulletin
©IUCN/SCC Otter Specialist Group

Volume 33 Issue 2 (January 2016)

OSG Group Members News
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New Members of OSG

Since the last issue, we have welcomed 13 new members to the OSG: you can read more about them on the Members-Only pages.

Kelsey Baird, USA: I am interested in the human dimensions of conservation, such as the attitude of sport anglers towards otters and other piscivorous predators, and what informs and influences their views.

Adi Barocas, Peru: I have just completed my doctorate studying coastal river otters (Lontra canadensis) in Alaska. I am now moving to Peru to work on the effects of mining and cattle ranching on giant otters (Pteronura brasiliensis). http://adibarocas.wixsite.com/adibarocas

Kristin Brzeski, Equatorial Guinea: am a conservation biologist using genomic methods to evaluate range expansion, toxin exposure, and genetic diversity in wildlife communities. With the Biodiversity Initiative in Equatorial Guinea in Central Africa, we are working to clarify the distribution and status of Aonyx congicus otters in Equatorial Guinea, developing and evaluating monitoring methods (i.e. non-invasive genetics), and adding to basic research on little know otter species.

Dhruba Bijaya, Nepal: I am an assistant professor at Tribhuvan University, Pokhara. Since 2006, I have conducted surveys and conservation research on otters in the lakes of Nepal, working with Dr Jyoti Bhandari; this included drafting and preparing booklets, pamplets and reports. In future I hope to involve my undergraduate and postgraduate students in this work.

Thabang Madisha, South Africa: I am enthusiastic about otters, and have been working for a number of years on genetic aspects of otters, especially for elucidating population structure, such as species differentiation from spraint with South African otters, and population structure, genetic diversity and demographic history of otters in Hungary.

Sharne McMilan, China: I am currently undertaking a PhD at the University of Hong Kong studying the 'Ecology and conservation of Eurasian Otter (Lutra lutra) in Hong Kong'. This study aims to establish the baseline status of the otter population in Hong Kong including number of individuals, sex ratio, genetic diversity, distribution and home/activity ranges by spraint survey, faecal DNA analysis, and camera trapping. The study findings would also inform our understanding of potential threats and habitat requirements, as well as the approach for future monitoring.

Thais Pereira, Brazil: I am a biologist and I have worked for over 8 years with Lontra longicaudis and Pteronura brasiliensis in Brazil. Currently I work at the Araguaia Institute monitoring the population of otters.

Matthias Rinke, Germany: I am a veterinary pathologist, lately retired as head of Toxicological Pathology at a major German pharmaceutical company. I am now seeking to systematically investigate the histopathology of otters in order to establish what is normal, and pathological changes, comparing samples from animals of different ages side by side.

 Mohan Bikram Shrestha, Nepal: I am a Conservation Officer with Wildlife Conservation Nepal and a charter member of the Nepal Otter Network.  My work focuses on the illegal trade in wildlife, notably otters, in Nepal.

Purna Man Shrestha, Nepal: I am a field biologist who has worked on surveys and conservation of various species in Asia, including snow leopards and red pandas. I attended the Asian Wetland and Otter Conservation Training Workshop in China in 2016, and joined the Himalayan Otter Network as I wish to contribute to knowledge and survival of the otter species of Nepal.

Grazielle Soresini, Brazil: I’m a vet and PhD Student in Ecology and Conservation, working with health assessment of giant otters in the Southern Pantanal, Brazil. I’m interested in the wildlife conservation of this fascinating animal.

Christina Ward, Guyana: I started working with otters at Zoo Atlanta around 3 years ago; both small clawed and giants. The giants completely stole my heart and changed the course of my life. I have collaborated with Dr. Lucy Spelman for the past couple of years on otter research. We traveled to Guyana last January and completed an otter census and are headed back down to Guyana in January to pick up the otter survey once again. Creature Conserve, the non-profit, which Dr. Lucy started and I help manage, aims to travel to Guyana every January in order to keep the otter research going.

Rinaldo Verdi, Chile: I am director of NGO Chinchimén, which is focussed on the protection of coastal habitats and fauna, with the Marine Otter, Lontra felina, as the flagship. I have been involved in raising , rehabilitating and releasing otters brought to us, and currently care for a young otter orphaned as pup and due for release shortly. Chinchimen Facebook Page

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