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Thread: Otters

  1. #1
    Chris Bishop Guest

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    A new report from the Otter Trust reckons Tarka and his mates have now re-colonised most of Britain's river systems. Top banana.

    However, the effects of this are more and more fisheries suffering fish kills.

    No way would I ever advocate going back to hunting these beautiful creatures.

    The problem appears to be that population shifts (or declines, depending who you believe...) in many rivers mean otters have started preying on commercial fisheries.

    Otter-proof fencing costs a bomb, is there another answer which doesn't involve destroying them..?

  2. #2
    Jon Moores Guest

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    Do you think it may be that some of the problems are with released otters which may be less scared of us than truly wild otters are? The populations may sort themselves out and move to quieter spots as they naturalise. I have read somewhere that releases of captive bred otters have recently stopped, because of their success.

  3. #3
    Chris Bishop Guest

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    They haven't got much space left for re-introducing them, because wild populations have picked up considerably since the all-time low of the late 70s, early 80s thanks to less pollution, the end of otter hunting, and foolish folk digging little holes in farmland and filling them full of pastie-sized carp.

  4. #4
    Andy Thatcher Guest

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    I like seeing Otters doing well as hopefully it means that the fish population is healthy enough to sustain them therefore we should be able to enjoy our sport. They are a natural early warning system that if monitored should tell us in advance of any problems with the rivers.

    Despite all the doom and gloom you see in the press I'd rather have them than not as it shows and improvement in our water systems.


  5. #5
    Paul Williams Guest

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    Andy,
    got to disagree with you on this one mate, i don't believe we have the same balance in our waterways now as we did when otters were in natural attendance, there natural prey is certainly not available on the same scale so they will look elsewhere.
    I read a good article somewhere by Kevin Clifford, after a good debate he asked would you like to see Tyranasaurous Rex reintroduced just because it is now extinct?
    I would be cock a hoop if our rivers were balanced enough to have otters playing on the far bank but i don't think they are, couple this with the exploding mink populations and we could have big problems with fisheries.

  6. #6
    Andy Thatcher Guest

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    Good point about mink Paul. I would like to think though that we aspire to reach the point in our flora and fauna before we really cocked things up though.

    As regards Kevin comments about dinosaurs this is valid for creatures whose whole enviroment have disapeared. There are still populations of otters in England that have not needed any helping hand. It is a bit like saying that as salmon were extinct in the Thames that no efforts should be made to reintroduce them but there are.

  7. #7
    Kevan Farmer Guest

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    Mink are a far bigger threat to our waterways than otters. Of course we have our animal rights friends to thank for releasing them in ridiculous numbers from mink farms. A single otter generally has quite a large territory so it's not one to every few hundred yds. Besides which most wildlife trusts will only release otters into an area where they can survive. In other words, if they are likely to eat themselves out of house and home within a short space of time they are not released. They do tend to require more peaceful surroundings also than mink do. I honestly do not think we have anything to worry about where otters are concerned.

  8. #8
    Kevan Farmer Guest

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    Mink are a far bigger threat to our waterways than otters. Of course we have our animal rights friends to thank for releasing them in ridiculous numbers from mink farms. A single otter generally has quite a large territory so it's not one to every few hundred yds. Besides which most wildlife trusts will only release otters into an area where they can survive. In other words, if they are likely to eat themselves out of house and home within a short space of time they are not released. They do tend to require more peaceful surroundings also than mink do. I honestly do not think we have anything to worry about where otters are concerned.

  9. #9
    Mark St Jefferson Guest

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    One thing you might want to add to your thoughts on this is that the Otter hates mink, and I mean they genuinly seem to hate them. An Otter will kill any mink it finds in it's territory.

    Also male otters have large territory's and so do tend to balance their own populations (as most predators tend to), and seeing as we now have so few natural predators left in the countryside, we need every one we can get, if we ever are to hope to re-balance our countryside.




  10. #10
    Gary Knowles Guest

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    I had a 'Tarka Tikka' from the Indian takeaway last night.

    Its just like 'Chicken Tikka'........ but otter !

    sorry.......

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