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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 457350, 11 pages
Research Article

A New Subspecies Identification and Population Study of the Asian Small-Clawed Otter (Aonyx cinereus) in Malay Peninsula and Southern Thailand Based on Fecal DNA Method

1School of Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia
2Department of Wildlife and National Parks, Km 10, Jalan Cheras, 50664 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
3Department of National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Office, Ladyao, Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900, Thailand
4Department of Molecular Biology, Graduate School of Medical Science, Kyushu University, 3-1-1 Maidashi, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka 812-8582, Japan
5Chikushi Jogakuen University Junior College, 2-12-1 Ishizaka, Dazaifu 818-0192, Japan

Received 10 October 2013; Accepted 29 December 2013; Published 13 March 2014

Academic Editors: A. Luchiari and E. Mushinzimana

Copyright © 2014 M. K. A. Rosli et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Three species of otter can be found throughout Malay Peninsula: Aonyx cinereus, Lutra sumatrana, and Lutrogale perspicillata. In this study, we focused on the A. cinereus population that ranges from the southern and the east coast to the northern regions of Malay Peninsula up to southern Thailand to review the relationships between the populations based on the mitochondrial D-loop region. Forty-eight samples from six populations were recognized as Johor, Perak, Terengganu, Kelantan, Ranong, and Thale Noi. Among the 48 samples, 33 were identified as A. cinereus, seven as L. sumatrana, and eight as L. perspicillata. Phylogenetically, two subclades formed for A. cinereus. The first subclade grouped all Malay Peninsula samples except for samples from Kelantan, and the second subclade grouped Kelantan samples with Thai sample. Genetic distance analysis supported the close relationships between Thai and Kelantan samples compared to the samples from Terengganu and the other Malaysian states. A minimum-spanning network showed that Kelantan and Thailand formed a haplogroup distinct from the other populations. Our results show that Thai subspecies A. cinereus may have migrated to Kelantan from Thai mainland. We also suggest the classification of a new subspecies from Malay Peninsula, the small-clawed otter named A. cinereus kecilensis.