The Eurasian otter ( Lutra lutra) is the only otter species found in the UK. The population had declined dramaticaly in England and Wales but now due to changes in the law & conservation work there are signs that otters are returning.
Otters are one of our top predators, feeding mainly on fish, waterbirds, amphibians and crustaceans. Otters have their young in holts which are underground burrows on the riverbank. Otters have webbed feet, dense fur to keep them warm and have the ability to close their ears and nose when underwater.Otters can be confused with Mink, although Otters are much larger,have lighter grey-brown fur with a pale chest and throat and a broader snout.
The Eurasian otter is a European Protected Species and is fully protected under Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
You are committing an offence if you:
Possess, sell or transport live or dead otters or parts of otters.
Block access to their resting or breeding places
Destroy or damage a breeding or resting place
Kill, injure, capture or disturb otters
You could be sent to prison for up to 6 months and be fined £5,000 for each offence if you’re found guilty.
Mitigation licences may be granted by Natural England or Natural Resources Wales if you cant avoid disturbing them or damaging their habitat.
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