This is the smallest otter species being only about 11 lbs. 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. We run a long term environmental surveillance scheme, using otters found dead to investigate contaminants, disease, and population biology across the UK. According to the IUCN Red List, the overall estimate of the population in the United Kingdom was around 10,395 individuals in 2004. 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. ... [on population increases]," she said. An otters diet mainly consists of fish, however, it can also include birds, insects, frogs, crustaceans and small mammals. Excellent and lithe swimmers, the young are in the water by 10 weeks of age. At present, the majority of the otter population in Great Britain occurs in Scotland, with a significant proportion of this number being found in the north and west of the country. They do live in large family groups. While hunting and habitat loss played a part, pollution of our waterways from agricultural chemicals was devastating to otter populations. In England the otter disappeared dramatically between the 1950s and 1970s because of persecution and pesticides washing into waterways. Otters were a common sight across the United Kingdom back in the 1950s The return of otters to the UK. Otters in England and Wales are also dying at an earlier age than some of their European counterparts. Other strong populations survive in Wales and Ireland. It took less than fifty years to all but destroy the Otter population in Essex. Housing for an Asian small-clawed otter is not for everyone. Otter Project. Thankfully, following the ban of these chemicals in the early 1990s, water quality increased and the slow-road to recovery began. Otters have their cubs in underground burrows, known as 'holts'. Their diet in the wild is crustaceans, mollusks, and small fish. Otters are now very common along the coast of Norway and in Northern Britain, especially Shetland where 12% of the UK breeding population exist. A wet winter has seen Britain's otter population flourish and they are raiding people's gardens and eating their fish. Baby otters for sale is 1 of 5 different otter species that is native to Asia. Habitat destruction, major property developments and the effects of toxic chemicals used in agriculture and industry in the past wiped out these superb creatures so that by 1986 Otters … While otters completely disappeared from the rivers of most of central and southern England in just 50 years, their future now looks much brighter. Otters in Essex. Of the 110 otters examined by the Cardiff University Otter Project in 2010 only 10 were over four years old and the oldest was eight, compared with a maximum age of 16 in Germany. According to the scientific resources, the total population size of European otters in Belarus is around 12, 000 individuals and in Sweden - 500-1000 individuals. The otter is still scarce over much of England, where the highest concentrations are in the south-west. Otters … email: darrent@essexwt.org.uk. There is evidence that in certain parts of the UK the otter is extending its range and may be increasing locally. Otters are well suited to a life on the water as they have webbed feet, dense fur to keep them warm, and can close their ears and nose when underwater. However, otter populations in England are very fragmented and the animals breed slowly.
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