Otters and their places of refuge are protected in the UK under the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) and the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010 (as amended). Under this Act it is illegal to either directly or indirectly:

  • capture, kill, disturb or injure otters;
  • damage or destroy a breeding or resting place;
  • obstruct access to their resting or sheltering places.

Presence/Absence Survey:

A presence/absence survey for otters will determine whether a site is being used by this species by looking for activity signs comprising:

  • holts (permanent places of habitation);
  • lying-up places;eeding remains;
  • spraints (droppings);
  • prints and tracks; and
  • ‘slides’ into watercourses.

Survey Timing:

Otter surveys can be undertaken throughout the year.