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Primarily nocturnal and very shy otters are present on most Dorset rivers but rarely seen.


Photograph by: 
Ian Andrews

Otter: bucking the trend

Post date: Tuesday, 9 August, 2016 - 08:01

Whilst many species of animals and plants are in general decline it is wonderful to be able to read news of the recovery of otter populations across the country and this applies to Dorset too. Not that many years ago otters were confined to remote coastal areas, notably in Scotland. I saw my one and only otter on Skye back in 1982. Improvements in the quality of water in our rivers and the abolition of hunting of otters with dogs  has seen a remarkable turn round in recent times.

Being nocturnal and also being very nervous of human beings they are generally difficult to see but there are more and more reports now of sightings by day from Stour Meadows near Blandford, Stour Valley to the north of Bournemouth and at Radipole lake in Weymouth. They are now on all of Dorset's main rivers and seem to be thriving. Long may that be the case.


The records for this species have been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail:

Sites List Distribution Map Some Charts Some Photographs Original Tweets Relatives Guidance Notes
Common Name Otter
Scientific Name Lutra lutra
Interest Level
Species Family Carnivores
Preferred Environment
Look for
Additional Identification Notes
Similar Species