The otters have thick, hard fur of a brownish color, a light belly and a muzzle. All otters are expert hunters that eat fish, crustaceans, and other critters. Otters are carnivorous animals and fish make up 80% of their diet. Also the enemy is a man. Despite their sleek bodies, these mammals can eat food amounting to as much as 25% of their body weight. Called a ‘raft’, the act has also been thought to be mating behaviour as competition between males can be fierce; some males like to hold the hands of their mates to make sure the female is not taken by another male. The 10 best places to look for otters and their signs. Shropshire Wildlife Trust's Otter Project uses camera traps to search for otters on the River Severn, and the Canal & River Trust is seeking volunteers to help survey otters on the waterways of Birmingham. At Blue Reef Aquarium Portsmouth, we have Ralph and Selma, a pair of 14-year-old otters both born in the same litter within the enclosure they still live in! They will also consume lizards and other items they can find on land when they need to. Otter at Strumpshaw Fen by Elizabeth Dack. An adult otter needs to eat about 20% of its body weight per day. Otter populations crashed to near extinction across most of lowland England by the mid 1970’s as a result of pesticide poisoning, loss of habitat and hunting. All but one species uses inland dens to give birth and look after their young, while protecting them from predators. From the wild north coast to the sandy heaths of Breckland, the Norfolk Broads to ancient woodlands, Norfolk’s diverse habitats are home to a stunning variety of wildlife. Also the enemy is a man. River otters eat mostly frogs, crabs, crayfish, fish and mollusks. River otters also prefer slower-moving fish to game fish. Otters living in zoos and aquariums are likely to live far past their average life span to almost double or triple years. In the spring, frogs are an important food item. We all love talking about the otters and our other animals, so are always open for questions throughout the day from visitors.”. Outside of fish, river otters will also eat crustaceans, insects, birds, oysters, shellfish, turtles and a number of other … In the wild, most species of otter feed on fish and crustaceans, with river otters feeding on prey like freshwater fish, mussels, crabs, crayfish and frogs, and saltwater otters eating marine prey such as shellfish, sea urchins and shrimp. Sea otters are even able to drink sea water, as their kidneys are large enough to extract fresh water from the sea water. The primary diet of sea otters consists of aquatic invertebrates including crustaceans, sea urchins, mollusks and fish. I’ve heard they are rather partial to baby swans too, given that the pair living in the lochan near my house have never successfully reared young because of them. They enjoy carp, sunfish, minnows, suckers, sculpin and salmonids such as trout and salmon. Thus, the sea otter is one of the very few mammals to make an effective use of tools (t… The young otters are hunted by sharks, predatory seabirds and animals. on 03/10/2019. According to the scientific resources, the total population size of European otters in Belarus is around 12, 000 individuals and in Sweden - 500-1000 individuals. They have webbed feet for swimming, dense fur for warmth, and can close their ears and nose underwater. Their short ears and noses, coupled with their dense, cuddly fur certainly make otters one of the sea’s most adorable examples of marine life – but there’s definitely more to them than being little charmers. Contributed by: David Jackson, Two otters nose to nose in the dyke Methods of Collecting Food. They might already have taken some of your fish, when you blamed a heron. How Do Sea Otters Eat? River otters eat 15% to 20% of their total body weight each day. River otters eat a variety of fish and shellfish, as well as small land mammals and birds. The young otters are hunted by sharks, predatory seabirds and animals. During mealtimes, we separate them out to keep food aggression to an absolute minimum, but like most siblings, Ralph and Selma can get a little angry with each other. Otter's prey on small mammals -mice, vole's, mole's- and they are starting the prey apon ducks in some area's. deliberately kill, injure or take an otter from the wild without a licence; deliberately disturb an otter in its resting place or. Cubs are usually born in a holt in a bank, or between rocks or tree roots. According to the IUCN Red List, the overall estimate of the population in the United Kingdom was around 10,395 individuals in 2004. The average otter is 1–1.3 metres in length, and weighs up to 9kg. They have a unique foraging habit because they use rocks to kill their prey. Otters are just a little bigger than a mink, they won't eat dogs unless i suppose, the dog is dead and rotting. Cute and full of charisma, the otters at Blue Reef Aquarium are some of our visitors’ favourite animals. Volunteers can help monitor otter populations for wildlife charities. Besides, they also prefer to eat crabs, large barnacles, mussels, snails, tubeworms, clams, squid, octopuses, chitons, scallops, sea cucumbers, sea stars and abalone. All in all, the sea otter preys on at least 100 different marine species. Sea otters have an ingenious method to open shellfish. Sea otters have an ingenious method to open shellfish. They know that if they do this, they will receive a piece of food. Although once considered to be on the brink of extinction in the wild across the UK, it’s now recorded that otters can be found in almost all counties, though it’s a rare and lucky occurrence to see these mammals in the wild. In some areas, this is a protected species, and some places have otter sanctuaries that help sick and injured otters to recover. Throughout the year. We talked to one of our trainers about what it’s like spending time with these two amazing creatures. 1: Do your research. The otter is a fish hunter, though it happily eats waterbirds, amphibians and crustaceans too, including American signal crayfish. Newborns are only about 12cm long but grow quickly and can swim at three months. Otters prefer fish which they dive underwater to catch using their sharp teeth and powerful jaws. They grow to one meter (3 to 4 ft) in length and weigh from five to 15 kilograms (10 to 30 lb). Unlike other otters, having a soft undercoat, sea otters possess fur with thick hard hair. at Strumpshaw Fen An otter’s daily routine would usually focus on two main things: sleeping and finding/eating food. The otter (Lutra lutra) was lost from most of England and Wales between the 1950s and the 1970s because of pesticide pollution of waterways. The body is dense, cylindrical, oblong, and the paws are short and strong. Sea otters are the only species of otter to exhibit this behaviour whilst sleeping, resting and eating to ensure group members do not drift off with the currents. However, it often leaves tell tale signs behind. Therefore, it should not come as a surprise that they indulge in food that can be found in and around rivers. This conservation success story is the result of both better legal protection for otters and the banning of the pesticides which poisoned them. Although river otters generally prefer dens that provide seclusion and protection, they tend to be opportunistic when selecting a home. A mink would kill and eat a cat, probably a dog. Plus, one of our trainers is on hand to introduce you to the otters that you can encounter for yourself! Otters are carnivores, and will eat a large quantity of fish, crayfish, frogs, crabs, insects and small birds in the area that they live because they must consume their weight in food every day to live. This includes frogs, crayfish, and even crabs. Otters are carnivorous animals and fish make up 80% of their diet. Come and discover wildlife as a family! Here, we’ll present some amazing facts about otters, including their habitat, what they like to eat, and just why they like to hold hands with each other. What Do Otters Eat Regularly? “We do a training move wherein we offer out our closed fist above the otter’s head that they touch with their nose. However, due to the fur trade, illegal pet trade and problems with fishermen, the biggest predator of otters are actually humans. Every event is enjoyable for all ages, making them a wonderful way for families to explore the natural world together. Coastal otters in Shetland eat bottom-living species such as eelpout, rockling and butterfish. As the Asian short-clawed otter is the least aquatic species of otter, I love coming in some mornings and seeing them swimming in their provided pool and playing with each other.”. Mating occurs at any time of the year and females give birth to 2 – 3 cubs, usually between May and August. Sea otters eat a wide range of marine animals, including mussels, clams, urchins, abalone, crabs, snails and about 40 other marine species, equaling approximately 25 percent of their weight in food each day, according to Defenders of Wildlife. What Do Sea Otters Eat? Coastal otters in Shetland eat bottom-living species such as eelpout, rockling and butterfish. They catch prey with their teeth. How do I know if otters are present on a site? River otters are known to travel far to fish in other areas if they are finding it hard to find food. Giant ottters are very sociable animals and often live in groups of … Contributed by: Elizabeth Dack, Juvenile otter Diet: Fish, especially eels and salmonids are eaten by the otter, and crayfish at certain times of the year. In the wild the average life is about 12-15 years. The river otter food web plays a crucial role in the environments the river otter calls home. In the UK, one of the biggest natural predators of Eurasian otters is birds of prey, which are likely to swoop down on small otter pups. How many fish have been predated upon. There are many natural predators of otters, such as bobcats, coyotes, wolves, bears and foxes, as well sea lions, orcas, great white sharks, alligators and crocodiles. “We also do a daily feed and talk at 2pm, when the otters are given their lunch whilst a 10/15-minute talk is given by an animal care team member. However, it’s also known that the young ones will stay with their mother until they are mature enough to start their own families. They have a unique foraging habit because they use rocks to kill their prey. at River Bure The marine otter is really a freshwater otter that has learned to occupy marine environments in South America. Thus, the sea otter is one of the very few mammals to make an effective use of tools (t… Today though, otters have returned to most of their former haunts in Norfolk. Do your homework to ensure that you’re fully educated before venturing out to otter spot. Many Otters do have a very long life in captivity though. Otter numbers are on the up, and they are on the look-out for food. The otters have thick, hard fur of a brownish color, a light belly and a muzzle. Sea otters obtain their food by diving. Being a semi-aquatic and nocturnal creature does, though, make this furtive animal difficult to spot. There are an increasing number of cases where otters are taking goldfish and koi from garden ponds. I’ve heard they are rather partial to baby swans too, given that the pair living in the lochan near my house have never successfully reared young because of them. They open the shells of some of their prey, with stones and a piece of wood. The Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra), also known as the European otter, Eurasian river otter, common otter, and Old World otter, is a semiaquatic mammal native to Eurasia.The most widely distributed member of the otter subfamily (Lutrinae) of the weasel family (Mustelidae), it is found in the waterways and coasts of Europe, many parts of Asia, and parts of northern Africa. Giant otters and sea otters spend most of their days awake and about. Diet. Incredible new pictures of some of Edinburgh's otters have shown a mother looking after her young cub. A large male may consume as much as 11 kg (25 lb.) They eat about 25% of their weight in food each day due to their accelerated metabolism. The otter’s droppings are known as spraint and otters use them to mark their territories. At 8kg, it is our second-largest mustelid and is becoming increasingly common in our rivers and lakes as its … Telephone: 01598 760585 or 07866 462820. 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