What makes the Otter Conservation Trail a must-try experience for nature lovers!
We have dedicated ourselves to creating a space for everyone who wishes to explore nature and have unique, exciting experiences. For all the guests who visit our humble abode nestled in the tranquil evergreen forests of the Western Ghats of East Goa, we organise various activities through which they can have first-hand experiences of different elements and aspects of the wild. Our initiatives and activities offer guests an opportunity to indulge in various exciting experiences of forest exploration. Night Safari, Otter Conservation Trail, Birding Trail, and Sunset Trail are a few to name.
The Otter Conservation Trail in particular has been a favourite pick for most nature lovers. This article is for you to know what makes it so special for most, so you don’t miss experiencing this fun whilst your visit to Nature’s Nest! The Otter Conservation Trail is more than the generic nature trail where you spend a few hours exploring the wildlife. Unlike any other trail, we have a vision behind organizing this activity for our guests; which is to introduce them to one of our wildlife preservation initiatives.
As you begin the journey and head into the forest, one of our animal experts gives a brief overview about what the Otter Conservation Project is, who can participate and how. You also learn about the furry little creature that you often see in cute memes and pictures – the Otter. The expert shares about the features, behavior, history, and distribution of the small-clawed Otter throughout the Western Ghats, especially in Goa. It is indeed in this moment when many of our guests get pumped up on hearing about this mammal and become keen on spotting one on the trail!
Let’s delve more into the ‘how’ part of it. So, when you begin the trail, the coordinates of the starting point are recorded in a survey form using a GPS device that assimilates information from the satellites. As you proceed further and continue walking in the stream, you start looking for any signs of otter activity. The most prominent sign is the presence of otter scat – their poop. Being the only semi aquatic mammals found in India, Otters are equally comfortable on land as well as in water. They are territorial mammals who find themselves a suitable rock by the stream, in order to poop and mark their territory . A unique behavior that has been noted is that Otters do a ‘poop dance’ (You gotta be on the trail to know more about this poop dance!)
Now, these furry little mammals prefer to move around as a family and find dens where they can lay low and cuddle (they love to cuddle!). These dens that Otters inhabit usually have at least two openings, a tactical decision they make to ensure a safe escape route in case of a threat. As you continue walking through the stream, you learn more about various traits of Otters, what our research has yielded, various sustainable practices, the vast biodiversity of the Western Ghats, etc. As a part of our survey, we set up camera traps at multiple locations that record movements of Otters. These cameras are equipped with night vision that capture Otter activity during the night. Our expert explains how the camera trap is set up and you might even have the chance to help set one on the trail yourself!
These fun experiences that follow through a very personalized interaction with nature along with interesting facts is why several people have truly enjoyed going on the Otter conservation trail. As you breathe fresh air and walk in the forest listening to bird calls, looking out for Otter signs, you are sure to get overwhelmed by the overall experience of the trail.
We’re sure of the fact that after getting a glimpse into this trail, your interest has piqued, hasn’t it? So, are you ready?