Average lifespan: 5-10 years
When to seeJanuary to December
AboutThe elusive otter is one of our top predators, feeding mainly on fish (particularly eels and salmonids), waterbirds, amphibians and crustaceans. Otters have their cubs in underground burrows, known as 'holts'. Excellent and lithe swimmers, the young are in the water by 10 weeks of age. Otters are well suited to a life on the water as they have webbed feet, dense fur to keep them warm, and can close their ears and nose when underwater. They require clean rivers, with an abundant source of food and plenty of vegetation to hide their secluded holts.
How to identifyThe otter is a large, powerful mammal, with grey-brown fur, a broad snout, and a pale chest and throat. Otters can be distinguished from mink by their much larger size and broader face.
In our area
Otter populations are fragmented throughout England but there have been many sightings in the River Severn, Shropshire. To find out more about our otter project and wider rivers work to improve water quality for all river wildlife, visit our Rivers Hub webpage.