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Otters live on watercourses and are afforded legal protection under schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981). It is illegal to kill, injure or capture an otter, or destroy, damage or obstruct an otter resting place, or intentionally or recklessly disturb an otter while it is occupying its resting place.
Despite having undergone huge population declines in the last century, otters are now well established in most of the UK, but still have low numbers in the south east of the United Kingdom. Otters can inhabit most types of watercourses, and can even use ditches for dispersal. They are also found in urban areas.
Otters are mainly nocturnal, solitary animals. Their diet is mainly fish. Otters are hard to find and the survey techniques have to look for a variety of signs, such as droppings, footprints, resting places and slides.
Although otter surveys can take place any time of year it is better when the water level is low, and when the vegetation has died back. Wildlife cameras can also be used to assist with surveys. Phlorum can provide advice for developments where there is concern about impacts on otters. We are able to carry out surveys and devise appropriate mitigation strategies where required.
Surveys for otter may be conducted throughout the year. Get in touch now with our team of friendly experts for your free, no obligation, chat about otter surveys.