Sea otters spend a lot of time floating on the water’s surface; before they sleep, they may anchor themselves by wrapping their bodies in kelp, which is a type of seaweed that grows from the sea floor. Otters occupy large home ranges – up to 40km along a river for a male otter but less than half that for a female. By the 1970s, otters were restricted mainly to Scotland, especially the islands and the north-west coast, western Wales, parts of East Anglia and the West Country (though they remained common and widespread also in Ireland). These short-limbed mammals can be found in France, Greece, Spain, Turkey and Scandinavia. We are a Devon-based charity dedicated to protecting and promoting a positive understanding of the European otter and its conservation. Flowerdew, J.R. (1997). The intended outcome of management in otter habitat should be to: protect existing holts, resting places and breeding sites, achieve a continuity of suitable habitats, limit levels of disturbance. The Lower Otter estuary lies within the Jurassic Coast, a World Heritage Site and is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Biodiversity: The UK Steering Group Report, Volume 2: Action Plans. The otter (Lutra lutra) is found throughout the UK and Ireland and is associated with streams, rivers and coastal areas. National Rivers Authority, Bristol. Otters are found on every single continent in the world except for Australia and Antarctica. Otters are moving into UK towns and cities as their populations recover. Habitat type - otters require a habitat consisting of unpolluted watercourses, bankside trees (with exposed horizontal root systems) and vegetation to provide cover, they also require a plentiful supply of food (such as eels) if the population is to be self-sustaining. The river is also likely to provide suitable foraging opportunities to otter given its ability to support fish and invertebrate species. Kirkwood, R.C. Scotland is home to 90% of UK otters. They generally have brown fur with a pale underside, a long slender body, small ears, a long thick tail, webbed feet and a flattened head. The banks of the river provide suitable resting places for otter. The otter is one of Britain's largest carnivores and a male otter may weigh over 15kg although females are somewhat lighter. The national species action plan specifies two objectives: The re-introduction of otters to their past range is a difficult process, although it has been successful in some cases. A range will also generally contain a number of holts or dens (although otters will also lie up above ground), which can take several forms including cavities in the roots of bankside trees, piles of logs or flood debris and caves in rock falls, the most secure sites being used for breeding. Poor bankside habitat - a lack of the habitat features required for breeding. They enjoy the freshwater but they are also known to live in the saltwater of the oceans as well. At our otter habitat, visitors and families can enjoy their playful nature as they swim and engage with each other. T he second episode in our Wild Britain series focuses on otters. (1998). A habitat image of Smooth-coated otter Lutrogale pers family pups are playing in morning light on rocks with green background Otters of … The impact may be direct, such as a loss of a holt site or indirect such as increased lighting along a section of a river corridor used by otters. This includes; crabs, frogs, voles and even large water birds. Otter numbers in the UK have increased slightly in recent years but the Eurasian otter is still classed as “Near Threatened” in the Red Data List. Look out for snipe, redshank and lapwing, plus bittern and the occassional rarity. Within the UK They are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981. The primary component of their diet are small fishes, however they will eat whatever they can get their hands on. 3, 18 A eutrophic river, with a high carrying capacity and plentiful food and habitat cover, could support a 17 Reports now state that otters inhabit every county in the UK – great news for the otter! Habitat. Because otters eat mainly fish, you’ll generally find them in areas where there are plenty of this food source. The European (or Eurasian) otter is the only species of otter native to the UK, and is one of our largest animals, living in both fresh and salt water environments. Otters commonly deposit faeces (known as spraints) in prominent positions within their territory in order to mark the extent of their range, and help heighbouring animals keep in contact with each other. pollarding old willows or coppicing alders) there may be a risk to otters. The Mammal Society, London. By the 1970s, otters were restricted mainly to Scotland, especially the islands and the north-west coast, western Wales, parts of East Anglia and the West Country (though they remained common and widespread also in Ireland). Scotland is home to 90% of UK otters. As otters are highly mobile and wide-ranging, assessment of development impact on otters may need to take account of watercourses beyond immediate development footprint. They are also protected under Appendix 1 of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) which is enforced in Britain by the Control of Trade in Endangered Species (Enforcement) Regulations 1997. Origin & Distribution: The otter is a secretive semi-aquatic species which was once widespread in Britain. Shop Lights & Accessories. Otters prey mainly on fish and have large home ranges, extending over tens of kilometres. To maintain and expand existing otter populations. your own Pins on Pinterest This is intended to protect species considered to be in danger of extinction, and (in the main) prohibits trade in them (together with any recognisable part or derivative). The return of the otter to waterways across the country is one of the UK’s top conservation success stories. The cause was the combined effects of water pollution, habitat destruction and persecution, including hunting. Otters in the UK and Sussex The European otter (Lutra lutra) is a protected species in the UK following a dramatic crash in their numbers in the 1960s. They utilise a wide variety of habitats including rivers, streams, ditches, wetlands, reed … Reduced prey - this can also associated with poor water quality, although a parasite problem in the eel population and eel harvesting also contribute to the problem. (1997). They also eat crustaceans, frogs and even small water birds. We hold talks, run courses, and offer information and guidance for everyone – from fishery owner to novice otter-spotter – on how to responsibly enjoy and co-exist with the species, and to help educate and engage the public. We want everyone to be able to engage with and appreciate these beautiful animals, and we work hard to raise awareness, educate, and share information in as many ways as possible! Those living on the coast are susceptible to oil spills. Twenty-five years ago, The English otter population was on the brink of extinction after half a century of agricultural chemicals leaching into the rivers and polluting the food chain. In: Biodiversity and Conservation in Agriculture: Proceedings of a Symposium held at The Stakis Brighton Metropole Hotel 17 November 1997, (Ed. Document Library. www.lrcwales.org.uk Natural History Societies and local Mammal Groups - contact details from: www.mammal.org.uk . Otters came close to extinction in the UK and much of Europe. Otters do not have a fixed breeding season, but most births occur in winter or spring. Hunting and trapping of mink - may inadvertently kill otters instead. ‘Holts’ are used for shelter and breeding and may take the form of a burrow, natural hole, cave or other structure (including man-made ones). They live in burrow in most waterways and coastal waters. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Sandy, UK. Christopher Betts Environmental Biology, Worcester, UK. Baby otters for sale is 1 of 5 different otter species that is native to Asia. The sea otter, however, rarely comes ashore, according to the San Diego Zoo. Otter Habitat and Distribution. Otters are often elusive, with large ranges and nocturnal behaviour making spotting them a rare and wonderful experience. The aquatic habitat of otters is very vulnerable in the face of change. Mammal Biodiversity in Agricultural Habitats. Discover (and save!) In the UK Otters frequent a range of habitat. Sep 18, 2015 - This Pin was discovered by Joanne Spink. Building a holt on the fringes of a suitable water body or water course is a simple way of supporting otter population growth. Their webbed feet and long, muscular tail enable them to swim comfortably at about one metre […] They do live in large family groups. Inland populations utilise a range of running and standing freshwaters. The head and body length is around 60 to 120cm, with a tail length 40 to 45cm, and the average weight is about 10.1kg for the male and 7kg for the female. Happily the UK population Despite intense historic persecution, habitat destruction and pollution, otters are now reported to inhabit every county in the UK! In some areas of western Europe, including the UK, many otter populations have now recovered well in response to the increasing health of waterways and coastal habitats, but population decreases across the entire range of this iconic mammal mean that … Damage or destruction of breeding sites or resting places is prohibited, and all life stages are protected against deliberate capture, killing, disturbance or destruction in the wild; and keeping, transport, sale/exchange and offering for sale/exchange of specimens, and scope is provided for the designation of Special Areas of Conservation (SACs). Distribution of the Sea Otter. If successful, the adaptation model for these two projects will be rolled out to other locations in the UK and France. Rivers, lochs and costal waters. Sea otters prefer coastal habitats within a mile of the shoreline. Welcome to the UK Wild Otter Trust! In freshwater they feed on trout and salmon. Coastal otter habitat ranges from sheltered wooded inlets to more open, low-lying coasts. Populations suffered catastrophic declines in the 1950s and 1960s, a trend that was also seen across continental Europe. It hasn't been plain sailing for otters in the UK in the last few decades. – but our river systems still require extensive habitat management to restore them to a healthy level that can sustain fish stocks and wildlife. They also eat crustaceans, frogs and even small water birds. Other places you will find them lingering include around rivers, streams, and lakes. Otters are now very common along the coast of Norway and in Northern Britain, especially Shetland where 12% of the UK breeding population exist. Most sea otters remain in habitats with rocky substrate, as their prey tend to be more plentiful in these areas. Most otters live in dens — built by other animals, such as beavers — that are dug into the ground that have many channels and dry inner chambers. They enjoy the freshwater but they are also known to live in the saltwater of the oceans as well. In the UK Otters frequent a range of habitat. Otter Habitat and Distribution Otters are found on every single continent in the world except for Australia and Antarctica. Betts, C.J. is the only otter that is native to the UK; can be found in both freshwaters and coastal habitats; is solitary, elusive and predominantly nocturnal ; feeds predominantly on fish, but takes a wide diversity of other prey eg crayfish, anurans (frogs and toads), birds, invertebrates and small mammals; has litters of 1-3 cubs, born at any time of year. The return of otters to the UK. A sea otter has more hairs on a fingernail-sized patch of its skin than a person has on their whole head. They have short legs with a long tail and body, which leans forward when walking. occasionally on mammals and birds Otters that live in freshwater habitats are largely nocturnal and occupy very large home ranges (around 32km for males and 20km for females). Because otters eat mainly fish, you’ll generally find them in areas where there are plenty of this food source. Otters prey mainly on fish and have large home ranges, extending over tens of kilometres. 6: The Otter Lutra lutra. Discover (and save!) Would the proposed operations or activities have an impact on otters if : present? Kill or injure an otter. Within the UK They are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981. They have stocky legs, a long, streamlined body, and a broad muzzle with prominent, sensitive whiskers. Whether it a glimpse of water-webbed whiskers, a lithe body porpoising in play, or the tip of a ruddering tail, the sight of a shy otter is one of the most rewarding wildlife experiences in the UK. Otters are restless, playful and secretive mammals that spend most of their time along riverbanks. OTTER HABITAT SUITABILITY APPRAISAL Otters are highly territorial animals with large home ranges; depending on the quality of the habitat and availability of food males can range along rivers for 35km. When to see. Mating occurs at any time of the year and females give birth to 2 – 3 cubs, usually between May and August. The otter is a secretive semi-aquatic species which was once widespread in Britain. Sep 18, 2015 - This Pin was discovered by Cherry Mischievous. Farming & Wildlife: A Practical Management Handbook. The species was driven to near extinction in some areas between the 1950s and 1970s, but thanks to improvements in water quality and greater protection it can once again be found across Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and – as of 2011 – every county in England. A priority species under the UK post 2010 Biodiversity framework. Common otters are piscivorous, meaning they eat fish, and carnivorous. We are a Devon-based charity dedicated to protecting and promoting a positive understanding of the European otter and its conservation. Why Otter Population in the UK Dropped Known for their playfulness, otters are found all over the world including the UK. UK wildlife: Otter (lultra lultra) on land carrying fish it has caught out of the sea onto the seaweed shoreline, Isle of Mull, Scotland Otters of chambal river. Most sea otters remain in habitats with rocky substrate, as their prey tend to be more plentiful in these areas. WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – A new family of otters settled in swimmingly at a new habitat at the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher. Fact Sheet No. Conservation Technical Handbook 3: Otters and Habitat Management. Andrews, J. and Rebane, M. (1994). Otter (Lutra lutra) or European Otter. Rivers, lochs and costal waters. There is also a sizeable population in Northern Ireland. Sea otters prefer coastal habitats within a mile of the shoreline. They generally have brown fur with a pale underside, a long slender body, small ears, a long thick tail, webbed feet and a flattened head. 2: Prioritise species safety. The pollution of lakes and rivers affects the fish that are their main food source. Animals and Nature › Otters › Sea otter › Hind feet. British Crop Protection Council, Farnham, UK. Other places you will find them lingering include around rivers, streams, and lakes. With the widest distribution of the otter subfamily, the common otter stretches from western Europe to central Asia. Otter Survey Techniques. Breeding can occur at any time of year, but the majority of cubs are born (in litters of between one and four cubs) in the spring or summer when there is a greater chance of survival. Common otters are piscivorous, meaning they eat fish, and carnivorous. A habitat image of Smooth-coated otter Lutrogale pers family pups are playing in morning light on rocks with green background Otters of … Common name: European otterScientific name: Lutra lutra. Eurasian otters are indigenous to the UK and can be found in either fresh or salt water, although it’s usually known as the river otter for the obvious reason. Otters are listed as Near threatened on the global IUCN Red List of threatened species. Therefore, some A priority species under the UK post 2010 Biodiversity framework. Otters are not considered a marine mammal, because they cannot survive without access to fresh water, but they often use coastal habitats, as well as lakes, swamps, rivers and streams. Under domestic legislation, otters are covered by the. However, the size of the range can vary from 1.1km on coasts with a rich food supply to 40km on rivers (dependent on the quality of the habitat, food supply and social interactions with neighbouring animals). This means they need to move frequently within and between patches of good habitat to feed, breed and rest. Housing for an Asian small-clawed otter is not for everyone. A typical range will encompass a river, side streams and ponds together with the adjacent woods and wetlands. January to December. If otters are, or are likely to be, present will your planned operation impact in any of the following ways? Checklist of Protected British Species. You are more likely to see an otter today in the UK than ever before, yet their elusive nature still makes them a difficult spot. UK wildlife: Otter (lultra lultra) on land carrying fish it has caught out of the sea onto the seaweed shoreline, Isle of Mull, Scotland Otters of chambal river. 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. your own Pins on Pinterest Removal of vegetation from stream or river banks, the draining of wetlands, the construction of dams and other man-made interventions impact greatly on otter populations. coppicing, scarifying, mowing and ground-works within potential otter habitat have a high risk of causing damage, disturbance or harm. Asta, Oscar, Tritan and Ray can be seen in the habitat daily from 9 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Looking for interiors ideas? They are perfectly adapted to a semi-aquatic life. 4–7 In the 1950s, persistent organochlorine pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) became intensively used in agriculture. Never put a photograph, film clip, or personal experience before the welfare of the otter. Copyright © 2019 Uk Wild Otter Trust | Designed by Kinlake, Otter factfile: What they’re like, threats, and how to find them, What to do if you find a live otter or cub. They are a carnivorous species, the adults of which consume around 1km of food per day, over 80% if which is fish (the type of fish being dependent on availability) although they will also eat amphibians, birds, molluscs, crustaceans and small mammals. The river channel provides suitable habitat for otter to move through the area. Research estimates that Otter territories are roughly 10–20 km, depending upon the quality of the habitat and resources. HMSO, London. The otter is short-listed on the UK Steering Group Report, Volume 1 (1995) and as such the report contains a costed Thankfully, following the ban of these chemicals in the early 1990s, water quality increased and the slow-road to recovery began. This is the smallest otter species being only about 11 lbs. Habitat: Otters are voracious fish eaters, with fish making up over 80% of their diet, so they have evolved to live in a variety of habitats where fish are plentiful. The Eurasian otter: 1. has the widest geographical range of all otter species 2. is the only otter that is native to the UK 3. can be found in both freshwaters and coastal habitats 4. is solitary, elusive and predominantly nocturnal 5. feeds predominantly on fish, but takes a wide diversity of other prey eg crayfish, anurans (frogs and toads), birds, invertebrates and small mammals 6. has litters of 1-3 cubs, born at any time of year. Charity Registration Number - Otter (Lutra lutra) or European Otter. Developmental pressures - otters often require a large range, something that is not consistent with the pressure for urban expansion (which can result in the fragmentation of habitats). However, the survey was so labor intensive and logistically difficult we concluded the approach was not useful to characterize habitats at population or landscape Job 1 . Otters are found almost all over the world and in many wet habitats, such freshwater rivers, lakes, oceans, coastlines and marshes. They are frequently found in protected harbors, barrier reefs, and kelp forests that offer shelter from wind and waves. The European (or Eurasian) otter is the only species of otter native to the UK, and is one of our largest animals, living in both fresh and salt water environments. The return of the otter to waterways across the country is one of the UK’s top conservation success stories. UK Steering Group. Cubs are usually born in a holt in a bank, or between rocks or tree roots. Newborns are only about 12cm long but grow quickly and can swim at three months. 3: Know your companions. Captive breeding programmes have been set-up by the Otter Trust and various other sanctuaries and parks, and can be used to supply stock, but because of the protected nature of the species and the difficulties involved, no re-introduction programme should be established without the involvement of a suitable body (English Nature, Countryside Council for Wales or Scottish Natural Heritage ). It is believed that water pollution is the most usual cause of UK Otter population declines. Diet. Incidental mortality - mainly in the form of road deaths and drowning in eel traps. It’s important to know your target species’ habitat, behaviour and feeding patterns before setting out.