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Otter

(Lutra lutra)

Size: 59-110cm – 45cm tail Weight: 7-11kg Lifespan: max. 10 years

MH

Identification: Mink is the only confusion species - otters are much larger and the white on the face extends down the chest. General: The otter is well adapted to the waterside environment it generally inhabits. Its webbed feet and rudder-like tail enable it to move rapidly in the water in pursuit of its main prey of fish. It largely catches sedentary fish, like eels and pike, but also hunts under rocks for bullheads and loaches. It will also take crayfish, amphibians, water birds and mammals when the opportunity arises. The otter is largely nocturnal and will lie up in thick bankside vegetation during the day. Otters are territorial with females holding territories of around 12 km of river, with male territories covering 2-3 female territories. Breeding normally takes place in an underground burrow called a holt and litters of 1-3 cubs are usual, these remaining with their mother for up to a year. Footprint After a dramatic decline in population in the 1950s-1970s due to pollution with organochlorine insecticides and hunting, the otter is now increasing in numbers again. Distribution - UK More common in Wales and the west and particularly in Scotland, especially along the west coast and islands.

MC MC 65

Cambridgeshire Mammal Atlas  
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