On banksides. River otters eat a variety of aquatic wildlife, such as fish, crayfish, crabs, frogs, birds’ eggs, birds and reptiles such as turtles. An otter’s ‘range’ depends on whether an area has enough food for the otter to be able to survive, for example, Eurasian otters’ range can be anywhere from 2 miles to up to 20 miles. They will also consume lizards and other items they can find on land when they need to. Eurasian otters are indigenous to the UK and can be found in either fresh or salt water, although it’s usually known as the river otter for the obvious reason. Also the enemy is a man. However, it’s also known that the young ones will stay with their mother until they are mature enough to start their own families. Coastal otters in Shetland eat bottom-living species such as eelpout, rockling and butterfish. They open the shells of some of their prey, with stones and a piece of wood. The Asian short-clawed otter, which can be found in mountainous areas away from large sources of water, can also hunt ground-nesting birds and rodents. Sea otters have an ingenious method to open shellfish. The marine otter is really a freshwater otter that has learned to occupy marine environments in South America. Sea otters obtain their food by diving. An adult otter needs to eat about 20% of its body weight per day. Otter's prey on small mammals -mice, vole's, mole's- and they are starting the prey apon ducks in some area's. Contributed by: Elizabeth Dack, Juvenile otter 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. However, when fish is scarce, they eat insects, frogs, birds and other mammals like rodents. Volunteers play a very important part in the success of Norfolk Wildlife Trust and we really value their support and commitment. They have webbed feet for swimming, dense fur for warmth, and can close their ears and nose underwater. They have also been known to eat aquatic plants and to prey on other small mammals, such as muskrats or rabbits.They have a very high metabolism, so they need to eat frequently. Sharks and killer whales eat sea otters on occasion. Their diet consists of roughly 80% fish, but they will prey upon birds, mammals and frogs if fish are in short … With the ability to smell concentrations of fish and their high metabolisms, otters spend most of their time hunting for their next meal. What is the real level of risk to your pond and can you do anything about it? They will also use some of their day to groom in between rest periods, as otters do not sleep once a day like humans would; they have several rest periods throughout the day and night. Outside of fish, river otters will also eat crustaceans, insects, birds, oysters, shellfish, turtles and a number of other … As aquatic mammals, otters spend most of their time in the water. They catch prey with their teeth. How Do Sea Otters Eat? Sea otters eat about 25% to 30% of their weight. The European otter has been here for millions of years; it is a member of the Mustelid family, which also includes the badger, mink, weasels, stoats, martens and polecats, and is the only truly semi-aquatic member of the weasel family. Like weasels, otters have short legs and long flexible bodies. Also the enemy is a man. 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. at NWT Hickling Sea otters are even able to drink sea water, as their kidneys are large enough to extract fresh water from the sea water. I’m sure there are more things, but these are the things I’ve seen (or seen the evidence of) them eat. In the wild there are 13 different species of otter, and they’re found on all continents except Australia and Antarctica. Where do otters live? Many Otters do have a very long life in captivity though. 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. It is worth pointing out that since the 1970s, otters have also spread naturally from western lowland England back across the Midlands into eastern England, so the release programme simply speeded up their natural re-colonisation of Norfolk. However, due to the fur trade, illegal pet trade and problems with fishermen, the biggest predator of otters are actually humans. The body is dense, cylindrical, oblong, and the paws are short and strong. Telephone: 01598 760585 or 07866 462820. To see an otter in the wild demands not only being in the right place at the right time but also that you spot the otter before the otter spots you. Otters are now very common along the coast of Norway and in Northern Britain, especially Shetland where 12% of the UK breeding population exist. Otters declined catastrophically throughout England in the late 1950s. 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. Some are small river otters, and some … However, the marine otter and the sea otter live within coastal habitats, spending the majority of their lives at the coast. The river otter food web plays a crucial role in the environments the river otter calls home. However, in captivity some of them have lived as long as 20-25 years. Unlike a sea otter from Alaska, the southern sea otter doesn't eat fish. They are well adapted to their riverine habitats, with webbed feet to help them swim and the ability to close their eyes and ears underwater. 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. They eat about 25% of their weight in food each day due to their accelerated metabolism. at River Bure Otters share similarities with other mammals, especially those found within the same family: the mustelidae. The 10 best places to look for otters and their signs. Quiet back waters of the Norfolk broads, reed-fringed freshwater dykes and many of Norfolk’s rivers including the Wensum, Bure, Yare and Nar provide just these conditions. This includes frogs, crayfish, and even crabs. Unlike other otters, having a soft undercoat, sea otters possess fur with thick hard hair. Otter Nuisances River otters are known for destroying the foundation that your home or business sits on and they often carry diseases that can be transmitted to you and your pets. Do your homework to ensure that you’re fully educated before venturing out to otter spot. What can visitors expect from their experience of otters at Blue Reef Aquarium? Not all otters use tools, but sea otters use them all the time. Thus, the sea otter is one of the very few mammals to make an effective use of tools (t… They eat about 25% of their weight in food each day due to their accelerated metabolism. During the spring months amphibians form a large part of their diet. 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. They leave the protection of their mothers at 10 – 12 months and can breed at 2 years old. 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. If anything, the cat owuld eat the otter. Fish, especially eels and salmonids are eaten, and crayfish at certain times of the year. 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. The sea otter is only found in salt water, where it prefers to eat invertebrates such as shellfish. Sea otters eat a wide variety of prey, including marine invertebrates such as echinoderms (sea stars and sea urchins), crustaceans (e.g., crabs), cephalopods (e.g., squid), bivalves (clams, mussels, abalone), gastropods (snails), and chitons. In the spring, frogs are an important food item. Discover Norfolk's wildlife, from our majestic marsh harriers to stunning swallowtail butterflies. Otter numbers are on the up, and they are on the look-out for food. There are a variety of different otter species found within zoos and aquariums in the UK, most commonly the Asian Short-clawed otter, but other species such as giant otters and sea otters can also be found. Otters are well suited to a life on the water as they have webbed feet, dense fur to keep them warm, and can close their ears and nose when underwater. The young otters are hunted by sharks, predatory seabirds and animals. Some other common items that they will eat include invertebrates, birds, and small sized animals. Can otters use tools? Sea otters have an ingenious method to open shellfish. The majority of species, including the Asian short-clawed otter, the Eurasian otter, marine otter, giant otter and hairy-nose otter, are known to have a gestation period of up to 9 weeks. River otters and giant otters hunt by using their vibrissae to detect movements of prey in the water. Besides, they also prefer to eat crabs, large barnacles, mussels, snails, tubeworms, clams, squid, octopuses, chitons, scallops, sea cucumbers, sea stars and abalone. The number of otters is increasing in Norfolk. Otters occasionally take water birds such as coots, moorhens and ducks. River otters' main source of food is fish, but otters are opportunists by nature and will eat a wide variety of foods. 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. They know that if they do this, they will receive a piece of food. The otter’s droppings are known as spraint and otters use them to mark their territories. For more information on how to see them, as well as Blue Reef Aquarium’s incredible array of other marine life, be sure to visit the homepage. There are an increasing number of cases where otters are taking goldfish and koi from garden ponds. Therefore, it should not come as a surprise that they indulge in food that can be found in and around rivers. Thirteen different species of otter exist all around the world. Shropshire Wildlife Trust's Otter Project. How do I know if otters are present on a site? on 15/10/2019. When were Otters reintroduced to Norfolk? At 8kg, it is our second-largest mustelid and is becoming increasingly common in our rivers and lakes as its … We talked to one of our trainers about what it’s like spending time with these two amazing creatures. Therefore, they tend to be prolific and efficient hunters, preferring prey that’s slow and easy to catch. Otters are adapted to life on both land and in water. Eurasian otters will generally live anywhere that has a source of unpolluted fresh water with a sufficient food supply. 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. With the ability to smell concentrations of fish and their high metabolisms, otters spend most of their time hunting for their next meal. Sea otters eat about 25% to 30% of their weight. Every event is enjoyable for all ages, making them a wonderful way for families to explore the natural world together. Otters are carnivores, which means they eat meat. Incredible Facts About This Amazing Animal, Junior Aquarist and VIP Behind the Scenes Experience, The Daily Routine of an Otter in the Wild, Meet the Otters at Blue Reef Aquarium Portsmouth. Thus, the sea otter is one of the very few mammals to make an effective use of tools (t… “We can even use this to weigh them weekly by holding our fists over scales, getting them onto their hind legs to show us their underbellies or even to do some agility training over platforms to see how well their limbs are working. 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. 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. Cubs are usually born in a holt in a bank, or between rocks or tree roots. 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. If anything, the cat owuld eat the otter. Methods of Collecting Food. One of their favourite games to play is when we get our waders on and get into their pool using a net, they like to sneak up behind us and when we turn around they swim off – they absolutely love it!”. Otter numbers are on the up, and they are on the look-out for food. The elusive otter is one of our top predators, feeding mainly on fish (particularly eels and salmonids), waterbirds, amphibians and crustaceans. They also eat small mammals and birds. William Warby/Flickr/CC-BY-2.0. of food daily. They catch prey with their teeth. All in all, the sea otter preys on at least 100 different marine species. They have a unique foraging habit because they use rocks to kill their prey. Otters will mainly feed on fish (40-90% of their diet)and will take a variety of species depending on the time of year, species such as carp, stickleback and eels. Why Otter Population in the UK Dropped Sea otters can live around 10-15 years, whereas Eurasian otters are lucky to reach 4-years-old in the wild. The whiskers on the face of the … The marine otter is really a freshwater otter that has learned to occupy marine environments in South America. Their bodies don’t age as rapidly when they don’t have to find their own food or when they don’t have to fend off predators. A sea otter may hunt on the seafloor but always returns to the surface to eat. It’s important to know your target species’ habitat, behaviour and feeding patterns before setting out. Otters prefer fish which they dive underwater to catch using their sharp teeth and powerful jaws. River otters are known to travel far to fish in other areas if they are finding it hard to find food. They might already have taken some of your fish, when you blamed a heron. Mating occurs at any time of the year and females give birth to 2 – 3 cubs, usually between May and August. 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. At times our otters can be quite playful with the keepers. An adult otter needs to eat about 20% of its body weight per day. damage or destroy an otter’s breeding or resting site. They open the shells of some of their prey, with stones and a piece of wood. Otters occasionally take water birds such as coots, moorhens and ducks. Their habitats can differ from species to species. Today though, otters have returned to most of their former haunts in Norfolk. Otters are adapted to life on both land and in water. NWT Ranworth Broad and NWT Barton Broad are just two places where otters are regularly recorded in Norfolk. The river otter food chain consists mostly of fish. “We do a training move wherein we offer out our closed fist above the otter’s head that they touch with their nose. Eurasian otters feed mainly on fish. In the spring, frogs are an important food item. River otters eat 15% to 20% of their total body weight each day. River otters are apex predators in their food web. From a conservation point of view, only the North American river otter is considered to be of ‘Least Concern’, and isn’t the focus of conservation. The otter (Lutra lutra) was lost from most of England and Wales between the 1950s and the 1970s because of pesticide pollution of waterways. River otters have also been known to utilize the burrows made by red foxes, woodchucks, beavers, nutria, and muskrats. Otter families can be quite large, with some having around 20 members, and it’s common for the babies to stay within the same family. Otters prefer fish which they dive underwater to catch using their sharp teeth and powerful jaws. Otter at Strumpshaw Fen by Elizabeth Dack. They arent cuddely, otters. 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. 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. The primary diet of sea otters consists of aquatic invertebrates including crustaceans, sea urchins, mollusks and fish. Mating occurs at any time of the year and females give birth to 2 – 3 cubs, usually between May and August. In marshes or reed beds. Here’s what you need to know to provide adequate nutrition to a captive otter: 70-80% can be meat-based, and can include chicks, chicken, venison, rabbit, etc. Excellent and lithe swimmers, the young are in the water by 10 weeks of age. Otters have their cubs in underground burrows, known as 'holts'. Sea otters eat sea urchins, abalone, mussels, clams, crabs, snails and other 40 marine species. River otter species can be either, though most are usually more active at night. What do Otters Eat? Despite their sleek bodies, these mammals can eat food amounting to as much as 25% of their body weight. on 03/10/2019. Contact Paul Wilkinson at enquiries.westmidlands@canalrivertrust.org.uk. In Norfolk by the 1970s most traditional otter sites were deserted and whole river systems no longer supported any otters. At 8kg, it is our second-largest mustelid and is becoming increasingly common in our rivers and lakes as its … They enjoy carp, sunfish, minnows, suckers, sculpin and salmonids such as trout and salmon. Contributed by: Elizabeth Dack. It prefers to eat invertebrates like crabs, snails, urchins, clams, abalone and mussels — for breakfast, lunch, dinner and between-meal snacks! Posted on 6th March, 2017. by James. River otters also prefer slower-moving fish to game fish. In the UK otters can only really be confused with the introduced American mink, but otters are much larger (95-130cm in length, including tail), with a distinctive white throat. on 28/08/2018. Come and discover wildlife as a family! They will also feed on mussels and limpets on the seashore and when on land they hunt down frogs, waterfowl, voles and even rabbits. Looking to meet Ralph and Selma for yourself? Being a semi-aquatic and nocturnal creature does, though, make this furtive animal difficult to spot. All other species of otter are recorded as Near Threatened, Vulnerable or Endangered. All otters are expert hunters that eat fish, crustaceans, and other critters. How do I tell the difference between a mink and an otter? Most species have webbed feet, and all have long, sensitive whiskers and thick, water-repellent fur. Otters are carnivores, which means they eat meat. Sea otters eat a wide variety of prey, including marine invertebrates such as echinoderms (sea stars and sea urchins), crustaceans (e.g., crabs), cephalopods (e.g., squid), bivalves (clams, mussels, abalone), gastropods (snails), and chitons. On gravel banks. But it survived in Scotland’s cleanest bodies of water in the north and west. at Strumpshaw Fen Otters are just a little bigger than a mink, they won't eat dogs unless i suppose, the dog is dead and rotting. They will also feed on mussels and limpets on the seashore and when on land they hunt down frogs, waterfowl, voles and even rabbits. An otter’s daily routine would usually focus on two main things: sleeping and finding/eating food. This conservation success story is the result of both better legal protection for otters and the banning of the pesticides which poisoned them. 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. Otters have to eat a massive 25% of their body weight every day to maintain weight, and because of their high metabolism, they have to spend around 60% of their time hunting and the other 40% resting. In some areas, this is a protected species, and some places have otter sanctuaries that help sick and injured otters to recover. River otters eat a variety of fish and shellfish, as well as small land mammals and birds. Many Otters do have a very long life in captivity though. This small (3–6 kg [6.6–13.2 pounds]) otter occurs on the Pacific coast from Peru through Chile and Tierra del Fuego in Argentina. Volunteers can help monitor otter populations for wildlife charities. Diet. “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. on 13/11/2019. Joining us today makes a real difference to Norfolk. Here’s what you need to know to provide adequate nutrition to a captive otter: 70-80% can be meat-based, and can include chicks, chicken, venison, rabbit, etc. Cubs are usually born in a holt in a bank, or between rocks or tree roots. One species of otter is native to the UK: the Eurasian or European otter, which is found across Europe, even reaching some parts of Asia and Africa too. Email: otters@ukwot.org. The otter increase Otter numbers in the UK had dropped very low by the 1970s, partly due to the effects of certain pesticides. With its broad head and long, wide tail the otter has a very distinctive appearance and is easily identified. 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