Somerset Wildlife Trust

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Somerset Otter Group

Otter © Brian Phipps

What Does the Group Do?

The Somerset Otter Group is a loose association of active enthusiasts, who try to look after the fragile population of this rare animal. The group has recorded and studied otters for over twenty years, charting their remarkable come-back since the 1980s. Sadly these charismatic creatures are still vulnerable and the group’s survey work is vital for monitoring the population in Somerset. The group works with researchers to find out more about the county’s population. Advice can be provided to fishery owners on predation problems and prevention measures. The group works with Somerset Environmental Records Centre. You can find out more on their website.

How Do I Get involved?

The group holds meetings, often featuring guest speakers. Surveyors are kept updated by e.mail, website and facebook.
Surveyors adopt a stretch of river, which they check once a month for signs. A weekend recording event takes place every April, when sites are checked for signs of activity overnight to get a snap-shot of the population.
New surveyors receive training from more experienced surveyors. Information about how to survey and record, what to look for and keeping safe is accessible on the web site.

Who Do I Contact?

For enquires contact Jo Pearse on 07855 773697 or
Take a look at the Somerset Otter Group website

How Do I Report a Sighting?

Details of live sightings and records of signs can be sent to SERC.
Please report all dead otters directly to Jo Pearse promptly (at the above telephone number or email address). If a body can be recovered it goes for post mortem to Cardiff University.

More information

The Somerset Otter Group has a new Facebook page, click here to visit it.

Cardiff University has a great otter project, click here for more information.