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2016 Year of the Otter

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International Workshops

Otter populations and their distribution in China – A review by Zhang Xaohong, Paul Yoxon, Grace M Yoxon

Otters used to be widespread in China except for in a few provinces in arid zones but now they are hardly ever observed in the wild and spraints or footprints can be occasionally observed in only a few provinces near streams, reservoirs or protected areas. This paper looks at the data from recent surveys and shows the devastating decline in numbers in China. more

IOSF Report on the Illegal Trade in Otters, 2014

In 2008 IOSF produced a report on the illegal trade in otters for fur. This has now been updated with recent data and also includes information on otters being sold as pets. Otters are still being overlooked by most governments and conservation bodies and trade continues. This is having a drastic effect on populations and the report reveals the facts and what is being done to combat it. more

A Model of the Effect of Environmental Variables on the Presence of Otters along the Coastline of the Isle of Skye by Paul Yoxon.

A survey of Eurasian otters (Lutra lutra) along the Skye coastline revealed a variation in distribution on different coastal types. Factors like geology, width of the intertidal zone, intertidal makeup, slope of coastline, inland vegetation, and number of freshwater pools could influence otter distribution. A quantitative method based on a logistic regression...  more

Estimating otter numbers using spraints -is it possible? By Paul and Kirsty Yoxon

Spraints have been used to survey otters in the UK since 1979 and a standard methodology has been set up which has been used in Britain and Europe for most survey work. At present data from these surveys is being used to give an estimation of...  more

Otters and Fisheries Conference Report

Andrew Cameron, Facilitator: There is a perceived tension between otter conservationists and anglers. The purpose of this conference is to

  1. Determine whether this tension is real, and if so, how widespread it is, both geographically and across the different kinds of anglers and fishery maintainers
  2. Discover and eliminate misinformation whether accidental or malicious
  3. Find a way forward for both otter conservation and anglers

Short presentations were given in sessions of two or three, followed by questions from the floor.more

Otter Surveys of the North West Scottish Islands

Between 1995 and 2003, otter surveys were conducted on 11 islands off the north west coast of Scotland. These located holts in a 100-metre-wide strip along the coasts of these islands. The information was then used to calculate the total number of holts for each island, and from that the adult otter population for each island was calculated... more

The IOSF Otter Toxicology conference

In 2000 a group of us... more

How to build an Otter Holt

Carefully sited and constructed artificial holts may encourage otters to recolonise and breed along stretches of waterways from which they are at present absent.

Where to build them: Careful site selection is required to avoid unnecessary wastage of effort and money. However, the criteria for selecting sites are, as yet, poorly investigated. Good places for the establishment... more

2003 conference

An electronic version of the Proceedings for the IOSF European Otter Conference 2003 "Return of the Otter in Europe... Where and How?" is available at http://www.ottershop.co.uk/PBSCProduct.asp?ItmID=9467120. Topics include:

  • Recent Developments in Population Trends of Otters in Europe
  • Today’s Threats to Otter Populations
  • Otter Health and Welfare
  • Otters in Education and Economics
  • Preparation for Re-introductions
  • Re-introductions as a Tool in Conservation
  • Classical Methods of Research in Otter Biology