During 2014 the Somerset Otter Group recorded 25 otter deaths in Somerset. As usual these were mostly the result of being hit by vehicles, with 19 clearly being killed on roads and only three being from other causes.
By catchment the casualties came from:
Parret – 10 Tone – 8 Brue – 5 Avon – 1 North Somerset Streams – 1
19 were recovered for post-mortem, though an accidental turning off of a freezer resulted in three of these being lost, so 16 have been sent for post-mortem.
The total of 25 is lower than the 27 recorded in 2013 and below the average of 30.4 per year since 2000.
Since recording began in 1995 the Somerset Otter Group has now recorded 522 otter deaths in the county. The data from these deaths is currently being analysed and will be published shortly.
The Somerset Otter Group has worked closely with the Environment Agency and Highways Agency in recent years to reduce otter road mortality at key sites where otters were being killed regularly. Tunnels, underpasses, fencing, ledges under bridges, reflectors and steps beside weirs all assist to mitigate otter deaths on roads in the county.
Please report any dead otters to Somerset Otter Group