Otters are legally protected by The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended) and the Habitats Regulations 2017, making them a European Protected Species. With this legal protection, it is an offence to deliberately injure, capture or kill otters, intentionally or recklessly obstruct access to any structure/place used by an otter for shelter or protection. It is also an offence to damage an otter’s breeding site or resting place.
Otter Survey Techniques
As otters are highly mobile and wide-ranging, assessment of development impact on otters may need to take account of watercourses beyond immediate development footprint.
Surveying for evidence of otters includes:
- otter spraints (dung)
- otter footprints (tracks)
- feeding remains
- otter slides
- otter holts and couches.
Otter Survey Season
Otter Surveys can take place at any time of the year, but the best time is spring, as evidence is easier to find.
Visit our full Survey Calendar for suitable times for your survey to be conducted.
How We Can Help
The Ecology Partnership can work with land owners and developers to ensure that otters are considered as part of a proposed development.
For more protected species survey services click here.