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  1. #11
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    Default Re: Checks and Balances: Apex Predators and the Balance of Nature

    I saw a 5-strong group / family of otters on the Wye at Letton last year, and at Witney I heard a group.

  2. #12
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  3. #13
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    Default Re: Checks and Balances: Apex Predators and the Balance of Nature

    Obiter dictum! Otters and mink must have a field day during the close season with no anglers on the bank!

  4. #14
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    Default Re: Checks and Balances: Apex Predators and the Balance of Nature

    Interesting cover otter photo Cliff looks like a Giant River otter to me Eurasian otter(lutra lutra) photos here eurasian otters photos - Google Search

  5. #15
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    Default Re: Checks and Balances: Apex Predators and the Balance of Nature

    Quote Originally Posted by mikench View Post
    Obiter dictum! Otters and mink must have a field day during the close season with no anglers on the bank!
    Obiter dictum indeed . . . .

    Scholars have long known that fishing eventually turns men into philosophers.

    Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to buy decent tackle on a philosopher's salary. ~

    Patrick F. McManus






  6. #16

    Default Re: Checks and Balances: Apex Predators and the Balance of Nature

    Sorry, but imo Geoff's piece is nonsense. How can you possibly compare otters with human commercial exploitation?

    Ken Stokes piece is much more measured and sensible. However, as ever the crux of the matter is missed. Otters are never going to eat all of the fish in a riverine environment (even of one species, unless there are artificially low populations for other reasons such as poor recruitment etc). They will probably limit the upper weight of certain fish ( who remembers when a 14lb barbel was the fish of a lifetime?), but they will not eat them all. So the river ecosystem is in fact likely to be more balanced with otters than without....This could lead to a return to more silverfish as ecological niches are filled (something that may be happening on my local rivers). But it may mean people's PBs are significantly reduced...
    So in the end those that are calling for a cull will have real issues with getting support from the general public, even if the "cuddly" perception of otters can be overcome, because there will still be fish in the rivers, just maybe not the ones we set out to catch.

    Don't worry people - barbel and carp are not going to go extinct.

    Sent from my A1-810 using Tapatalk

  7. #17
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    Default Re: Checks and Balances: Apex Predators and the Balance of Nature

    Quote Originally Posted by fishface1 View Post
    Sorry, but imo Geoff's piece is nonsense. How can you possibly compare otters with human commercial exploitation?

    Ken Stokes piece is much more measured and sensible. However, as ever the crux of the matter is missed.
    Yes. I think you missed it! My piece is exactly that comparison. I agree Ken's piece is more measured however.
    Is Fishface Stu C?
    So many cormorants.... so few recipes.

  8. #18
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    Default Re: Checks and Balances: Apex Predators and the Balance of Nature

    I looks like I was wrong. The Cauvery River otters are Smooth Coated Otter, a slightly different one from ours. The link TBO supplied actually mentions and has a photo of the group I was talking about - a family group of 17 of them at Beemishwari.
    So many cormorants.... so few recipes.

  9. #19
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    Default Re: Checks and Balances: Apex Predators and the Balance of Nature

    Interestingly Geoff, Smooth Coated are the second largest otters in the world and closely related to the Giant Otters of South America and also live in large social groups. An interesting conundrum that one, that the two species are closely related but live on different continents. With no known evolutionary mammalian conectiverty between the two groups in history.

  10. #20
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    Default Re: Checks and Balances: Apex Predators and the Balance of Nature

    Not the only connection either. The South American Indians are presumed to have got there from Asia via Siberia and Alaska - or so went the theories back in the 70s when I read about it
    So many cormorants.... so few recipes.

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