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07 August 2018 - New Otter

Submitted by: Ben

We have a new arrival at IOSF’s otter rehabilitation centre.

We were contacted on Tuesday 31st about an otter that had gotten itself into someone’s shed. As you all know, otters are usually secretive animals and do their best to steer clear of humans so this behaviour was unusual.
I travelled down to Kylerhea, local to its HQ, to see how the otter was. It was clear from first sight that the young otter was very thin and lethargic and therefore it was imperative that it came into our care. Although young, the otter is actually a sub-adult. Since arrival to our sanctuary the otter has eaten well and has subsequently been moved into an outer pen to continue its recovery.

If all ends well the otter will be released back to the wild in Kylerhea.


06 August 2018 - Taiwan workshop

Submitted by: Grace

Taiwan Conference

It hardly seems possible that it is over a week since the end of the Taiwan workshop. It was a long way to go involving three flights but it was well worth it and we can see it leading to more positive steps in otter conservation in Taiwan.

It is unknown whether otters still exist on mainland Taiwan and a project has started to look into possible places where they may be present. However Eurasian otters are still found on the island of Kinmen and DNA work has been done to look into the population. So Kinmen is where we spent time looking into the practical side of otter conservation.

Most of the people who attended came from Asia including Singapore, South Korea and Japan, but besides ourselves there were also people from the Netherlands, Germany and Poland. All of us were invited specifically to contribute to their plans on four issues:

1. Otter rescue and rehabilitation - at present any cubs have to be flown to Taipei Zoo to be cared for which is nearly 300km away. So a rescue facility on the island is definitely needed so that they can be released back there.

2. Education - As well as the rescue centre they need to do more education work to show the local people how important otters are to the environment.

3. Reducing road mortalities - this is the major cause of non-natural death on the island, as in many other parts of the world. They have been trialing the use of road signs and wildlife warning reflectors, but there is a lot of traffic and really the otters need to be kept off the roads by fencing, tunnels, etc.

4. Habitat protection - a major problem is water and construction. Although Kinmen is 1/10 of the Isle of Skye it has about 130,000 people as compared with our 10,000! They also receive about 1.5 million tourists a year! So there is a lot of new construction and there are definite potential risks of water shortages. There are many lakes but in some places waterways are choked with water hyacinth. These problems are difficult but need to be addressed.

Since we have returned we received a lovely message from Kinmen:

"Kinmen County Government would like to extend its sincere gratitude to the experts that came to Kinmen Island to participate the International Conference on Eurasian Otter Conservation and Re-introduction at the Taipei Zoo . With your help, the otters on Kinmen island are able to breed continuously and survive well."

That makes our trip worthwhile.

Taiwan (end-2)

01 August 2018 - Children's Artwork Competition

Submitted by: Ben

It's competition time!

IOSF has launched a children's artwork competition. Entries must be under 18 and are welcome for all over the world, last year we had entries from a number of countries including Tanzania and Guatemala!

Click Here to find out more

Last year's winner Grace Maclean

Art Comp - Winner