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The Somerset Otter Group was originally founded to see if there were any otters left after the major decline to near extinction.

Happily the goal posts have moved a lot since the mid 1980’s.

The otter group has a wide range of aims, objectives and activities:

 

Regular systematic surveys

• Annual co-ordinated two day spring survey of the whole of Somerset

• Monthly surveys by members

• Continue the long series of records for Somerset

• Daily recording at selected places

• Population mapping and estimation

 

Otter group maintenance

• Training a network of surveyors

• Allocating and maintaining survey coverage

• Informative Newslotter to members

• Updates to the Somerset Otter Group website

• Maintenance of Facebook Group

• Meetings and lectures

 

Support of conservation initiatives and research projects

• Cardiff University’s post-mortem programme

• The DNA monitoring study

• The National otter surveys

• Special area of conservation monitoring

• Research into Pseudamphistomum truncatum, the newly discovered parasite

• Highways Authority, trunk roads and wildlife

• Chemical analysis of the scent from spraint

• Population studies on the Brue Valley and River Tone

• Prey identification through spraint

 

Advice on problems associated with the presence of otters

• Riverside engineering projects

• Black spots for otter deaths on roads

• Protection of fish ponds and fisheries

• Potentially damaging planning applications

 

Promotion of awareness and appreciation of otters

• Displays at public events

• Publications