Rare mammal in the picture

Friday 12th November 2010

Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust is delighted that a visitor to the charity’s Attenborough Nature Reserve managed to capture an otter on camera.

Whilst staff and volunteers have know otters to be present on the reserve for a number of years due to evidence such as otter droppings (known as spraints), the animals themselves are very rarely seen. This is thought to be the first time anyone has ever photographed an otter on the reserve.

Speaking about the recent photographic evidence Wildlife Trust Communications Manager Erin McDaid said:

“This is very exciting as we believe this to be the first time anyone has ever managed to photograph an otter at Attenborough. In fact, I’m not aware of anyone having captured a photo of an otter in the county before and certainly not in recent memory.”

The otter was photographed from a wildlife watching hide overlooking the area of the reserve known as the Delta and the images were verified by Wildlife Trust staff based at the Attenborough Nature Centre. The Otter was also seen by two other visitors to the reserve at different times of the day.

“Whilst is quite unusual to have a confirmed sighting of an otter at Attenborough, to have three confirmed sightings in one day is really extraordinary. The otter certainly didn’t seem keen to move on, so hopefully this indicates it lives nearby.” Said Mr McDaid.

Otters are known to have returned to the county over the last ten years but as yet, the Wildlife Trust is unaware of any specific evidence of otters breeding in Nottinghamshire. However, the continued presence of the species suggests that it is likely that at least some adults have successfully reared cubs.

“Whilst we have no direct reports of breeding activity in the county, the fact that we’ve been regularly finding evidence of otters for much of the past ten years makes it likely that otters are breeding nearby. Who knows, one day we might find evidence that otters are breeding at Attenborough and elsewhere along the Trent. With the advent of digital cameras and camera phones, more and more people are able to capture images of rare wildlife and one day someone might just be lucky enough to take a picture of an otter cub in the county! ”

The Wildlife Trust would like to hear from anyone who thinks they have seen an otter in Nottinghamshire. Details of possible sightings, including a description of the animal and location details should be emailed to support@nottswt.co.uk or posted to ‘Wildlife Sighting, Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, Brook Street, Nottingham, NG1 1EA