ecology habitats marine

5th National Otter Survey

The Environment Agency

Keystone Ecology was successful in securing the contract to survey one of the five regions England has been divided into for the Fifth National Otter Survey of England.

We surveyed 645 sites throughout the central west and midlands area of England, using a handheld GPS unit to locate survey sites and record Otter field signs such as spraints, feedings remains and prints.

The elusive Otter has been making a steady recovery since its dramatic population crash in the late 1950s, as shown by a succession of National Otter Surveys of England every seven years or so since 1979.  From a low of less than 6% of sites positive for Otters in the 1977-79 survey, there has been a steady increase, from 10% in the 1984-86 to 23% in 1991/94 and 36% in 2000/02.


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