IOSF World Otter Day 27th May 2020

PR4IOSF World Otter Day is on 27th May 2020. It started in 2009 as Otterly Mad Week as a week of events and education.  In 2014 it became Otter Awareness Day and in 2016 the IOSF World Otter Day.

 

So, how can YOU help?

  • Post on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all about otters, both in the lead up to the day and on the day
  • Share and tag your friends in IOSF posts to raise awareness of otter conservation and our cause. We are going to put out regular posts that you can share!
  • Encourage your friends to post as well, the more people that post, the more people we will reach
  • Use #WorldOtterDay
  • Tag IOSF in your posts:

o Facebook – @InternationalOtterSurvivalFund
o Instagram – @IOSF_Otters
o Twitter – @IOSF

We are once again delighted to announce that we can offer four World Otter Day grants for work across the world. We are able to offer a fourth thanks to the kind donation from another anonymous donor!

As ever, we were overwhelmed by the number of people who wanted to run an event and raise awareness so we had a difficult decision to make but four had to be chosen. But it was also great to learn that some of those not chosen are still holding events and we look forward to working with them in the future!

This year’s grants have been awarded to:

Lesotho – Human Nature Projects Organisation Lesotho
This event will raise awareness of otters across the African enclave. Otter populations do exist but very little is known about them or done to protect them. An otter education programme for all volunteers and other relevant stakeholders will be completed. This will focus on teaching about the importance of otter conservation, distribution in Lesotho, a history of otters in Lesotho and how can we raise the overall awareness of otter conservation across the whole country. The participants will include the UN Agency Representative, Relevant Government Ministry’s officials and Media Guests, as well as the expert from the Lesotho University.

This will build a strong awareness base of otters in Lesotho. Through this celebration, they will raise awareness through volunteers, media participants and all attendees. By including media coverage the entire nation will gain more of an understanding of otters and their conservation.

Malaysia – Malaysian Nature Society, MNS
An event by the Malaysia Otter Network, the very first established otter network in Malaysia. The celebration will be a 1-day event where the first half of the day will be public engagement activities such as exhibitions, launching ceremony of World Otter Day, a lake clean-up and public talks by the members of Malaysia Otter Network.

The event will help initiate a national effort in bringing together a group of identified otter experts in Malaysia and serve as a valuable opportunity for the group to discuss and exchange knowledge for future otter conservation in Malaysia.

Furthermore, they plan to organise an event at Kuala Lumpur City Hall, which recently pledged to ‘adopt’ the otter after the phenomenal appearance of wild otters in two urban parks in the city, to protect them from visitors to the parks. The public event will serve as an outreach and awareness programme in promoting otters as the ambassador of wetland conservation and the threats that they are facing.

The City Hall event has been postponed due to the Covid-19 outbreak but will be conducted once it is safe to do so, under government guidelines.

Morocco – Association Nature Solutions

The Maghreb subspecies of Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra splendida) is a threatened species in Morocco due to pollution, climate change and human persecution. The National Park of Talassemtane is a stronghold of the species in Morocco but it still only lives in the remote upper freshwater streams. This event will raise awareness among school children, local communities and visitors to the National Park.

Materials will be produced on the species in Arabic and French for distribution to schools, visitors, local associations and conservation authorities. There will also be an event to raise awareness of the otter and encourage field research for students at Tétouan University.

Nepal – Aarati Basnet

Aarati Basnet has conducted World Otter Day events over previous years and we are delighted to support her event this year.

This project will be carried out focusing on children, women and the indigenous ‘Rana Tharu’ community in Shuklaphanta National Park and its buffer zone. The National Park is home to some of the remaining populations of vulnerable smooth coated otters in Nepal.

The event will increase awareness within local communities about the existence and the importance of otters and the roles we can play to conserve them. It will also highlight otters as an ambassador of the wetland ecosystem to draw public attention to its conservation.

Children are the future leaders and much of the event will focus on raising awareness among them. It will provide a fun and engaging learning experience by using games for conservation education focusing on otters as ambassadors of the wetland ecosystem. Games, quizzes and an art competition will be more effective than traditional teaching methods in enhancing learning motivation, active participation, and concentration among the children.

In the long term, we believe it will lead to a more peaceful coexistence between threatened wildlife species and people living alongside them.