Otters suffered a decline in the 19th and 20th century but are now increasing in numbers and distribution across the UK due to the efforts of conservation organisations. They are an elusive species due to being mostly nocturnal and are known to use a diverse range of habitats including all water bodies, watercourses, wetland and coastal habits.
Otters as well as their breeding and resting places are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981) (as amended) and the Habitats and Species Directive (92/43/EC), enacted in the UK by the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations (2010). These make it illegal to disturb an otter breeding or resting site or interfere with these sites, as well as it being illegal to kill, injure or harm an otter. In addition, they are considered to be a “Species of Principal Importance” under Section 41 of the NERC Act and a priority species on the UK Biodiversity Action Plan.
To abide by the above mentioned laws, one of our experienced ecologists can undertake otter surveys prior to site works. An otter survey may take place throughout the year and our ecologists are qualified in the identification of their field signs such as footprints and spraints. Where otters are found to be present and likely to be disturbed or impacted by the development, a European Protected Species Licence may be required. Green Ecology can provide a licence application with cost-effective solutions to mitigation.
We can provide the following services related to otter ecology:
- Habitat assessment
- Otter survey
- Legislation & policy advice
- Licence applications
- Habitat creation and restoration
For more information about otters and how we can deliver timely and cost effective solutions to your project please get in touch.