Despite becoming almost extinct from England and Wales otters have managed to thrive on Scotland’s rugged coastlines and wild moorlands and today otter numbers there are thought to exceed 8,000. Complain about this comment (Comment number 16). In February this year I saw 4 otters hunting together from the viewing point in the Wildlife Centre. The oldest recorded otter reached around 12 years of age, but this is exceptional. An Otter can remain under water for up to 4 minutes. Otters are some of the most adorable aquatic animals. Complain about this comment (Comment number 33). You can stay up to date with Nature UK via these feeds. Please tell us by commenting below. Complain about this comment (Comment number 14). zanslens.co.uk This really made our day. recovery, most organisations involved in otter conservation preferred to rely on this rather than on re-introductions to restore otter populations in the UK. Mothers will continue to float on their backs, nurse their young and teach them to swim and hunt. Children learn most easily when they are having fun and so games are great educational tools. The camera, positioned on the banks of the brook that leads into the River Trent, has recently captured numerous images of otter activity. Our advice for spotting otters is to wrap up warm, pack a camping chair, a picnic, a flask of tea, your favourite book and settle down in one of these beautiful spots. at times about 100 ft away .mere so in the middle of the pool, Complain about this comment (Comment number 10). Otters are most active at night . Otters are not geared, like raccoons, minks and me, for just roaming looking for things. This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. If an otter feels threatened, its heavy, muscular body and sharp claws are enough to overpower pets and small children. I know other locals who have seen them more frequently.Simon Morgan, Complain about this comment (Comment number 26). For the long-in-the-tooth otters, experts suggest juggling rocks could be a way to pass the time and keep their brains active, similar to humans doing puzzles to keep their minds engaged as they age. Immediate medical help is needed for any scratches or bites. 4. ukactive provides services and facilitates partnerships for a broad range of organisations, all of which support our vision and have a role to play in achieving that goal. We also have Kingfishers and one of my favorites Dippers. Their dense, short under-fur is overlain by darker, coarse guard hairs that help repel water. But it survived in Scotland’s cleanest bodies of water in the north and west. Otter droppings, or spraints, are often used to mark territory – look for them along the river bank or on rocks. 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. Doing so may change otter behaviour patterns and will be VERY detrimental to the species. Otters do not have a fixed breeding season, but most births occur in winter or spring. These otters have brown-to-gray fur, and their undersides are a lighter, silvery shade. I feel very privelidge to have seen them so often and so close in day time. But opting out of some of these cookies may have an effect on your browsing experience. They sometimes eat fruit, but avoid carrion. Complain about this comment (Comment number 12). hide from humans and go nocturnal. Sea otters are generally diurnal. That last sighting was about 10 years ago. In January this year we were by the riverside at Blackpool Mill near Tenby and an otter swam under the ice at the waters edge and came out onto the bank just three feet away. Complain about this comment (Comment number 13). Sea otters are considerably more aquatic and live in the ocean for most of their lives. They have a thick padding of fat in the cheek area to prevent serious injury from any of their prey animals. Keep reading to find some of the best places in the UK where you can witness some otter action – but first, you need to know… How to spot wild otters. Otters are highly adapted aquatic hunters, who are related to badger and pine marten, and are one of the most eagerly sought, yet elusive mammals in Scotland. The best time to see them is later in the year when the salmon run and the kits are a bit older but you can see their trails next to the river, and during winter, when the river was frozen, there were loads of tracks left in the snow. Photo Courtesy of Tim Brown. Through education, research, influencing policy and partner working the IOSF is making progress but there is still much to be done here in the UK and other countries where otters are at risk. Complain about this comment (Comment number 24). Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. These are very important, as they are used to communicate with other otters. Otters are undoubtedly one of, if not Shetland’s most popular wildlife attraction. Most otter species come ashore to give birth in dens, which sometimes have been used by other animals such as beavers. 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. I haven't seen an otter in daylight, but yesterday (Weds 2nd June) at 4.30pm my friend & I saw a MOLE crossing the A259 between Chichester & Bognor Regis (West Sussex). Now is the time to reinvest in our health by getting the nation active. Remember when Chris and Kate saw a mother and cubs in broad daylight while filming Autumnwatch in Pembrokeshire? Diet often varies seasonally or locally, depending on which prey is available. We saw 4 otters on 14th January and 3 on 30th Jan this year, looked like a mother and her 2 cubs, on the River Avon near Bath. Out of these cookies, the cookies that are categorized as necessary are stored on your browser as they are as essential for the working of basic functionalities of the website. Sea otters are unique in the otter family as the only species to give birth in the water. Mink are, (unfortunately), very widespread along the Calder and Ryburn valleys, despite intensive efforts to remove them. Most otters have small ears, small eyes, and large noses. Found a dead dog otter on the A12 at Gt. We saw an otter at LD8 2LS, near Presteigne, at 7am on the 17th of May. Otters tend to concentrate on fish and crab and are unlikely (?) Not all otters use tools, but sea otters use them all the time. Maybe it was too hard for them? BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. To me otters always seem to be going somewhere in particular, on a mission, a rendezvous with the right fish at the right time. Otters occupy large home ranges – up to 40km along a river for a male otter but less than half that for a female. You can increase your chances of seeing otters by… Researching the otter habitat before visiting – there must be clean waterways, abundant prey stocks, and vegetated banks; Visiting the habitat at dawn – otters are mainly nocturnal, th An otter lives about 10 years. Unwind and immerse yourself in the natural world this year – from spotting otters to kayaking with puffins and catching a glimpse of a minke whale, here is our pick of the UK's best wildlife watching holidays. Perhaps the most foolproof location for otters is the Isle of Mull. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. Otters. We have not seen them for a few weeks but saw them on about 4 occasions whilst walking on the river footpath. 6: NEVER BAIT AREAS OR OTTERS. We lived for 20+ years on the banks of the River Severn just outside Welshpool (and sometimes in the river ......). And yet according to official data there are only about 10,000 in the whole of the UK - otters breed slowly and so recovery from any population loss is not rapid. Otters are active hunters, chasing prey in the water or searching the beds of rivers, lakes or the seas. They hunt in the water as they are floating. Mink are voracious carnivores that punch well above their weight for their size and are probably responsible for the severely low numbers of Moorhen within Calderdale. Like most wildlife, otters may be hostile when confronted. Though it is the largest, it isn’t the heaviest. Most otters have small ears, small eyes, and large noses. The elusive otter is one of our top predators, feeding mainly on fish (particularly eels and salmonids), waterbirds, amphibians and crustaceans. The Mull otter is the Eurasian otter, Lutra lutra, a member of the Mustelid family which also includes Badgers, Mink and Pine Marten. They utilise a wide variety of habitats Welcome to the BBC Nature UK blog, the home of Springwatch and Autumnwatch. I was surprised by how unafraid they were of me, as I believed them to very timid creatures and no they were not mink (I know what they look like and have seen them on dozens of occasions!). Most species live beside water, but river otters usually enter it only to hunt or travel, otherwise spending much of their time on land to prevent their fur becoming waterlogged. Complain about this comment (Comment number 19). The Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra), also known as the European otter, Eurasian river otter, common otter, and Old World otter, is a semiaquatic mammal native to Eurasia.The most widely distributed member of the otter subfamily (Lutrinae) of the weasel family (Mustelidae), it is found in the waterways and coasts of Europe, many parts of Asia, and parts of northern Africa. Britain’s best wildlife holidays. Today, the species is flourishing across Scotland, and recovering well across the UK as waterways are cleaned up. Strumpshaw RSPB in Norfolk often reveals otters during the day, including one I saw from around 3 yards away. Reports now state that otters inhabit every county in the UK – great news for the otter! Late evening is similarly active for feeding birds as they store energy for the night. Clawless otters are mainly nocturnal, though some individuals may be active during the day in remote areas that are free of human disturbance. Held every year during the last week in September, Sea Otter Awareness Week spotlights the important role of sea otters in nearshore ecosystems of the North Pacific Ocean. Read more. It was lucky my friend likes to keep a safe distance from the car in front or we wouldn't have seen it, & could possibly have squished it... We can't think why this secretive creature was out on such a blisteringly hot day, walking across a busy tarmac'd road - any ideas? We were also lucky to see a kingfisher at the same time swim up river and then up a small side stream opposite us. we have been seeing otters on the norfolk broads since 2002, all in daylight.winter and summer, most years we,ve seen in excess of 10 and some … Haven't seen them for a month or so as the water is so low at the moment but hear them yipping most nights.Am sorry to report we have not seen a kingfisher since the winter. It soon dived back in when it saw us. 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