This means if Otters are going well, we can look at activities that have happened and do more of it, like our oyster reintroduction - see below. Pet otters eat a lot. 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. Sea otters eat about 20-30% of their body weight each day. A fish farmer who claims his business was ruined after otters ate all of his 22,000 prized carp has been told his argument for damages is "hopeless". Besides, they also prefer to eat crabs, large barnacles, mussels, snails, tubeworms, clams, squid, octopuses, chitons, scallops, sea cucumbers, sea stars and abalone. River otters' main source of food is fish, but otters are opportunists by nature and will eat a wide variety of foods. So, a 50-pound otter would need to eat about 10-15 pounds of food per day. 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. NWT Ranworth Broad and NWT Barton Broad are just two places where otters are regularly recorded in Norfolk. 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. “We do a training move wherein we offer out our closed fist above the otter’s head that they touch with their nose. All otters are expert hunters that eat fish, crustaceans, and other critters. When they are hungry for larger game, otters will attack birds, young beavers, and muskrats. 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. Coastal otters in Shetland eat bottom-living species such as eelpout, rockling and butterfish. Sea otters can live around 10-15 years, whereas Eurasian otters are lucky to reach 4-years-old in the wild. Looking to meet Ralph and Selma for yourself? Therefore, they tend to be prolific and efficient hunters, preferring prey that’s slow and easy to catch. It depends on the species and whether they live in the wild or not. River otters are apex predators in their food web. The primary diet of sea otters consists of aquatic invertebrates including crustaceans, sea urchins, mollusks and fish. The primary source of food for the Otter is fish. The North American river otter and sea otter, meanwhile, can have gestation periods of 4-12 months. 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. A large male may consume as much as 11 kg (25 lb.) 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. During the spring months amphibians form a large part of their diet. Cute and full of charisma, the otters at Blue Reef Aquarium are some of our visitors’ favourite animals. “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. What’s your favourite part about working with our otters? However, when fish is scarce, they eat insects, frogs, birds and other mammals like rodents. What do Otters Eat and Where Do They Live? What is the real level of risk to your pond and can you do anything about it? Otters are carnivorous animals and fish make up 80% of their diet. Otters tend to live in a holt, which is normally a hole in a river or lakeside bank or in a tree root. With the ability to smell concentrations of fish and their high metabolisms, otters spend most of their time hunting for their next meal. Otters occasionally take water birds such as coots, moorhens and ducks. Cley Calling Presents: Megan McCubbin And Chris Packham, Walking on the Edge of Norfolk - CANCELLED, NWT receives grant of £166,600 from the government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund, Killer shrimp discovered in Trinity Broads, Remembering Richard Waddingham – farmer and pond conservationist. Plus, one of our trainers is on hand to introduce you to the otters that you can encounter for yourself! Unlike other otters, having a soft undercoat, sea otters possess fur with thick hard hair. Otters are apex predators and therefore what they eat and how they are doing is a great indicator of the lochs overall health. They’re renowned for preying on hard-shelled marine invertebrates, including abalones, sea urchins, clams, mussels and crabs, usually fracturing the shells with their teeth. Volunteers play a very important part in the success of Norfolk Wildlife Trust and we really value their support and commitment. on 28/08/2018. Fish are relatively insignificant in their diets. 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. River otters' main source of food is fish, but otters are opportunists by nature and will eat a wide variety of foods. An adult otter needs to eat about 20% of its body weight per day. Events taking place for all the family to enjoy, Support your local Wildlife Trust – buy your bird food from Vine House Farm, Six visitor centres around Norfolk, getting you closer to wildlife. How do I know if otters are present on a site? Since then, due to safer use of agro-chemicals and deliberate protection measures for otters, their numbers have steadily increased. With the ability to smell concentrations of fish and their high metabolisms, otters spend most of their time hunting for their next meal. River otters also prefer slower-moving fish to game fish. Together we can save Norfolk's wildlife - become a member today. 4. Otters prefer fish which they dive underwater to catch using their sharp teeth and powerful jaws. Why Otter Population in the UK Dropped They are carnivorous, and most species eat a variety of fish, amphibians, shellfish, crabs, and other aquatic creatures. In the wild there are 13 different species of otter, and they’re found on all continents except Australia and Antarctica. Otters have their cubs in underground burrows, known as 'holts'. Do you have a question about Norfolk's wildlife? The otters have thick, hard fur of a brownish color, a light belly and a muzzle. Many otters eat tough food, particularly sea otters that inhabit the shallow coastal waters of the northern Pacific. Joining us today makes a real difference to Norfolk. Today, the species is flourishing across Scotland, and recovering well across the UK as waterways are cleaned up. Shetland Otters. Otters were released by the Otter Trust in Norfolk between 1984 and 1997 with the approval of the statutory conservation bodies existing at the time; there have been no releases since then (other than orphaned otters which are released by the RSPCA as close as possible to the location that they came from). deliberately kill, injure or take an otter from the wild without a licence; deliberately disturb an otter in its resting place or. Otter swimming in a still stream showing a good reflection Cape clawless and Asian small-clawed otters feed mainly on crabs and other crustaceans, molluscs, and frogs. They know that if they do this, they will receive a piece of food. Throughout the year. Sea otters have an ingenious method to open shellfish. All other species of otter are recorded as Near Threatened, Vulnerable or Endangered. Their gestation period is 9 weeks and they can breed at any time of the year, although this usually occurs in spring. All but one species uses inland dens to give birth and look after their young, while protecting them from predators. 3. An otter can roam 10kms in one night. Reproduction In England and Wales otter cubs, usually in litters of two or three, can be born at any time of the year. 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. Where can I see Shetland otters? The planning process has an important part to play in safeguarding the future of our wildlife and the environments they inhabit. Mating occurs at any time of the year and females give birth to 2 – 3 cubs, usually between May and August. River otter species can be either, though most are usually more active at night. The young otters are hunted by sharks, predatory seabirds and animals. Because otters eat mainly fish, you’ll generally find them in areas where there are plenty of this food source. To stay warm in the water for so long, otters have incredibly thick fur, and very fast metabolisms, which means they need to eat a lot – 20% of their body weight per day, during certain months. The exception is the sea otter, which gives birth to its young in the water and keeps its pups on the mother’s underbelly until they are old enough to swim themselves. Otters share similarities with other mammals, especially those found within the same family: the mustelidae. They have webbed feet for swimming, dense fur for warmth, and can close their ears and nose underwater. As much as I really shouldn’t anthropomorphise these wild animals, I’m afraid I do. Otters occasionally take water birds such as coots, moorhens and … Doing so may change otter behaviour patterns and will be VERY detrimental to the species. at NWT Hickling Excellent and lithe swimmers, the young are in the water by 10 weeks of age. 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. In some areas, this is a protected species, and some places have otter sanctuaries that help sick and injured otters to recover. 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 living in zoos and aquariums are likely to live far past their average life span to almost double or triple years. However, due to the fur trade, illegal pet trade and problems with fishermen, the biggest predator of otters are actually humans. River otters eat a variety of fish and shellfish, as well as small land mammals and birds. Do Unto Otters Preschool Pack - Simply Learning Here is a free printable pack that I designed to go along with the book Do Unto Otters. Visitors are also more likely to smell our otters before even seeing them, they love to scent mark, which helps us to do lots of enrichment by introducing different scents or even moving around their enclosure every day. Pet otters eat a lot. 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.”. A Eurasian otter feeding on a common roach caught in a river in Thetford. In Norfolk by the 1970s most traditional otter sites were deserted and whole river systems no longer supported any otters. River otters are known to travel far to fish in other areas if they are finding it hard to find food. 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. 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. at River Bure Otters are adapted to life on both land and in water. Droppings (spraints) and footprints are more likely to be seen than the actual animal. 5. Therefore, it should not come as a surprise that they indulge in food that can be found in and around rivers. Diet: Fish, especially eels and salmonids are eaten by the otter, and crayfish at certain times of the year. Otters are now very common along the coast of Norway and in Northern Britain, especially Shetland where 12% of the UK breeding population exist. This conservation success story is the result of both better legal protection for otters and the banning of the pesticides which poisoned them. What do otters eat? Sea otters and also the African Clawless Otter have broad molar teeth for crushing shellfish whereas the teeth of the European otter are narrower for slicing through fish. Dawn and dusk are the most likely times to chance upon an otter. on 03/10/2019. 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. There a bunch of different activities including cutting + tracing practice, do-a-dot pages, 4-part apology cards and more! 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. Coastal otters in Shetland eat bottom-living species such as eelpout, rockling and butterfish. They catch prey with their teeth. The otter we see in the UK is the Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra). However, the marine otter and the sea otter live within coastal habitats, spending the majority of their lives at the coast. Sea otters eat about 25% to 30% of their weight. Come and discover wildlife as a family! Newborns are only about 12cm long but grow quickly and can swim at three months. Otters occasionally take water birds such as coots, moorhens and ducks. Otters are meat eaters. River otters prefer larger fish due to ease of capture; larger prey gives river otters more energy as well. 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. 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