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The Japanese river otter is an extinct subspecies of otter formerly widespread in Japan. The ministry said in 2012 the Japanese river otter was designated as extinct species because it had not been seen alive for more than 30 years. A river otter was last spotted in 1979 in the city of Susaki, Kochi Prefecture. Japanese River Otters. Adding to the confusion is the fact that taxonomists aren't entirely sure whether the Japanese river otter was a distinct species or simply a subspecies of the Eurasian river otter… The number of Japanese river otters decreased rapidly beginning around the Meiji and Taisho eras, due to extensive hunting for its fur and liver (which was used as a medication for tuberculosis) and further continued with habitat destruction, water contamination, large scale river construction, and even attacks by domestic dogs. Since then, it has only been spotted several times, in 1964 in the Seto Inland Sea, and in the Uwa Sea in 1972 and 1973. The Japanese river otter (Lutra lutra whiteleyi) was a semi-aquatic carnivore otter that used to inhabit the rivers of Japan, and was distributed in Hokkaido, Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu until the 1920s. The mammal lives on fish and shrimp and records show that Japanese river otters lived all over Japan until the Meiji era through 1912 and on Tsushima Island during the Edo period between 1603 and 1868. Otters In Japanese folklore. The Japanese river otter (Lutra nippon) (Nihon-kawauso) is an extinct variety of otter formerly widespread in Japan.Dating back to the 1880s, it was even seen in Tokyo. The population suddenly shrank in the 1930s, and the mammal nearly vanished. Dating back to the 1880s, it was even seen in Tokyo. In Japanese folklore, they fool humans like the fox (kitsune) and tanuki. The Japanese River Otter, referred to as Nihon-kawauso by the local community or as Lutra lutra whiteleyi by the scientific community, is a type of otter that was formerly scattered throughout entire Japan but has now become extinct. In Japanese folklore Otters were considered very dangerous as they would shapeshift into beautiful women or little children and kill men. The population suddenly shrank in the 1930s, and the mammal nearly vanished. In Japanese, they are called “kawauso” . Hunting for otter fur and pollution in river habitats had caused a sharp decline in the animal’s population. July 30, 2014 araho. That discovery raised hopes that the Japanese river otter – once common across Japan’s main islands but hammered from the nineteenth century onward by … Check out our japanese river otter selection for the very best in unique or custom, handmade pieces from our shops.

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