With Brexit done, the EU has other problems to deal with — starting with ‘illiberal’ Hungary Peter Conradi, Europe Editor Sunday January 03 2021, 12.01am , The Sunday Times If you’re unsure about anything at all, there are many good otter conservation and education groups that are willing to help you and answer any questions. Otter Nuisance Concerns: Otters are mischievous by nature and this makes them ingenious when it comes to creating problems in human environments. Mating takes place in the water, and can occur throughout the year; there is no fixed breeding season. Eurasian otter numbers began declining in the 1950s until the species became almost extinct in England and Wales, although a small population survived in Scotland. Predation can eat into the profits of those with vested interests in fish, but measures can be taken to prevent otters from taking stock from still-water fisheries. The main problem the otter has faced in the recent past has been habitat loss and hunting by humans, but with conservation efforts addressing those issues in the UK, its population has expanded again, and its future now looks assured here. The otter is carnivorous and eats almost exclusively live prey, such as trout (Salmo trutta), young salmon (Salmo salar) and other fish, crustaceans, eels, frogs, water birds and insects. Newborns are only about 12cm long but grow quickly and can swim at three months. 1. Individuals are up to 90 cm. 8: Stay aware. The Environment Agency can be contacted on 03708 5060506 (ask for the local Biodiversity & Fisheries Officer). Female territories are about half the size of those of the males. 7: Never remove spraints (dung). (1990). The floods of last autumn and winter have compounded the problem. Since these were withdrawn from use, otters … CONNECTORS Otter controls has a selection of electrical connectors and couplers, including wash proof options. Our vision is of a revitalised wild forest in the Highlands of Scotland, providing space for wildlife to flourish and communities to thrive. Discover where otters live in the UK, how you can spot their signs, and where you can see them for yourself. 2. Doing so may change otter behaviour patterns and will be VERY detrimental to the species. We are unable to confirm exact number of otters, but we can give simple advice to enable both species to co-exist. The return of otters to the UK. It is territorial and solitary, and will mark its territory with spraints, or droppings that are left on distinctive points, such as rocks or fallen trees. The hedgehog tick (Ixodes hexagonus), which is a close relative of the deer tick (Ixodes ricinus), is also a common parasite on otters. In recent years, though, the otter has recovered considerably in the UK and much of Europe due to conservation efforts and the banning of pesticides such as dieldrin. Recent Stories. Below are some illustrations of fencing that has been successfully installed to prevent otter predation. Anti-Climbing Suit otter 2016-10-26T12:00:52+01:00. If it changes its behaviour, then there’s a good chance you have disturbed it and should leave quietly. 9: Never disclose exact locations on public or social media sites. The otter can live for up to 10 years, but in the wild its average lifespan is often 3-4 years. 12: Keep track. In mainland Europe, otter territories often overlap with those of the European beaver, and the ponds created by beavers are important for otters in rivers where there is little deep water. In Europe the otter populations declined substantially in the 1960s and 1970s, due to mortalities caused by pesticide use. With a good membership behind you, the protection can be installed for very little – in almost 100% of cases, for much less than just one prize fish. Mating occurs at any time of the year and females give birth to 2 – 3 cubs, usually between May and August. About us. Captive otters have been recorded eating an average of 1.5 kg. Traffic injuries are also a problem, as more roads are built through their habitats. This information may get into the wrong hands. In recent years the otter has encountered new and varied threats, including habitat destruction (road building, new urban development), persecution by fishery owners and gamekeepers (as they are seen as a threat to fish and game birds – which is untrue), and if near the sea, injury and capture in fishing nets. The latest breaking news, comment and features from The Independent. In the UK, otters almost became extinct in the fifties and sixties because of rivers contaminated with chemical residues. Please feel free to contact us directly if we can help! It has large lungs, and its heart rate slows down to conserve oxygen when underwater, enabling the otter to dive for several minutes. After 10 weeks they are able to swim, but will remain with their mother for up to a year. The otter was once widespread throughout the UK and Europe. I can add it to my list of ‘very important things to invent really soon’. When census takers tried to count the nation's homeless population, they ran into many problems that could threaten the accuracy of the effort. The sinuous otter is an excellent swimmer and can be seen hunting in wetlands, rivers and along the coast - try the west coast of Scotland, West Wales, the West Country or East Anglia for the best views. We will help erect fencing if it is possible and feasible for us to do so; The prevalence of Pseudoterranova decipiens (Nematoda) and Corynosoma strumosum (Acanthocephala) in otters Lutra lutra from coastal sites in Britain. In the UK, the otter is protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act and is listed as a priority species for conservation under the Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP). Today, the species is flourishing across Scotland, and recovering well across the UK as waterways are cleaned up. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/otters-protection-surveys-and-licences Many people ask us where they can see otters. Males, known as dogs, are longer than the females, which are called bitches. This decline was caused by organo-chlorine pesticides. "It's not physically possible for them to spread very quickly," said Yoxon. While hunting and habitat loss played a part, pollution of our waterways from agricultural chemicals was devastating to otter populations. It’s important to watch them responsibly, so we’ve produced a simple advice guide to help you to understand the dangers that otters face — and to help you enjoy them as much as we do. Charity Registration Number - Journal of Zoology. Otters that live along coastlines feed mainly on crabs and dogfish (Scyliorhinus spp.). Predation by otters can have a serious impact on both private and commercial fisheries. Although it was previously widespread in Japan, it is now believed to be extinct there. Since July 1988 at least 300 otters have been run over in England and Wales. The dense fur acts as insulation, helping to keep it warm in the water, and the guard hairs are covered in a water-repelling oil, which keeps the skin underneath dry. The return of the otter in England is causing problems for commercial fisheries, which are resorting to unusual remedies. National survey of otter Lutra lutra distribution in Scotland 2003-04. The hedgehog tick (Ixodes hexagonus), which is a close relative of the deer tick (Ixodes ricinus), is also a common parasite on otters. in length along the coast, or from 5-20 km. 3: Know your companions. 8: Stay aware. Like most wild mammals, the otter is host to a range of parasites, and these include a common trematode (Pseudamphistomum truncatum) and a fluke (Metorchis albidus), which have been found in otter gall bladders. SC143304, with registered offices at The Park, Findhorn Bay, Forres, Moray, IV36 3TH. Historically, otters Lutra lutra occurred over most of the UK. Two species of tapeworms (Diphyllobothrium latum and Diphyllobothrium medium) that are parasites of fish have been found in otters. 605079649. Helping Otters in the UK The Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) is classed as “Near Threatened” in the IUCN Red Data List, which means it is near to facing a high risk of extinction in the wild. 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