The Otter

Otter, Animals, Water, Meadow, Care

One of the UK’s much loved mammals, the Otter, a large member of the Weasel family.

There are 13 Otter species globally, mostly seen in the UK is the Eurasian Otter, also referred to as the Lutra Lutra, they are fully protected under both the UK and European legislation, since they’re still widely hunted for their pelts. Otter numbers have fallen dramatically over the last 30 years. The Lutra Lutra Otter has distinctive features that make it easy to recognize, with its brown coat and white under belly and neck they are well adapted to aquatic life with its waterproof fur coat, webbed feet and powerful tail and of core their whiskers. Found along coatings, estuaries, lakes, streams and fresh water habitats with suitable cover. They could replicate up to 3’cubs’ annually with the mother will nurture for up to 3 months.

Another popular species is the Sea Otter found along the coats of the Pacific Ocean, these mammals do literally everything in the water, they eat, sleep, mate and give birth in the sea, once more highly adapted to their habitat.

The Giant River Otter, the names says it all, the worlds largest Otter at 6 feet long, these magnificent creatures are native to South America living in the river and creeks of the Amazon. They live in family groups and compact communities, once making a den in the river banks, setting a territory hat that they will aggressively protect if necessary.

Otters are really intelligent, they have been using tools such as stones to open shells for food, they also know how to have a good time, the Eurasian Otter in particular are exceptionally playful and have been seen many times climbing banks up and sliding back down on their backs!

Their diet consists mostly of fish, frogs, eels, rabbits and birds, depending on their habitat, they consume up to 25% of the body weight daily sometimes more, spending at least 5 hours each day hunting.

These endangered species can just accommodate so much, the disruption of new home developments, roads and overall human disruption are leading to reduction of inhabitance. Pollution of waterways are destroying their food chain and pesticides, mercury and petroleum found in water are seriously damaging in their health, more of these cases are being detected all over Europe.

You may contact your local wildlife trust, they could participate in otter conservation projects.

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