Dungon | @DENROfficial via PCSD

Palawan Otter, locally known as “dungon,” “pangkat-pangkatan,” or “fisher dog,” are sea engineers as they help maintain and manage our nearshore ecosystem and keep things in check. WildlifePH

Palawan is the western island province of the Philippines, composed of 1,700 islands. It is considered as “Man and Biosphere Reserve” and “the Last Frontier” but as well a “Biodiversity hotspot”. Habitat destruction, especially mining activities, and wildlife trade are increasing all over the province leaving its fragile ecosystems at stake.

Dungon or the Asian Small-clawed Otter (Aonyx cinereus) is the smallest among the 13 otter species in the world. It is a carnivore mammal under Family Mustelidae, Subfamily Lutrinae. It is a nocturnal animal that feeds on small fishes, crabs, shrimps, and various kinds of shellfishes. Currently, it is listed as Vulnerable by IUCN.

In the Philippines, the isolated population of Asian Small-clawed otter in Palawan is the only known otter species in the country, locally known as “dungon”, “pangkat-pangkatan” or “fisher dog”. It is distributed all over the mainland Palawan usually observed along the rivers, streams, mangroves, estuary, roads, sand beaches, islands, fishponds, and irrigations. (https://palawanotters.wordpress.com/)

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