Otters don't just eat Fish

Dave

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Chris Pluck

"This was sent to me by a local angler who took this video this morning down my local river stour, in a duck feeding area in the middle of town that is frequented by many many people throughout the day.
Please keep telling me that these otters are wild animals and haven't been hand reared in captivity and released by mindless moronic do gooders to wreak havoc on our watersystems, or that "nature will find a balance"
Something needs to be done to correct this horrific meddling with nature before more aquatic species are pushed towards extinction..." <sic>


 

JayBee

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Indegenous species certainly, but I'm not a fan of Otters.
 

tipitinmick

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Having witnessed two thirds of a 4lb chub float past me on the river Swale at Cundal lodge farm I say shoot the ####ing things. They’re just a big Mink. Kin things they are. ???
 

squimp

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I can’t get the video link to load.

I assume it shows an otter eating a bird ?

If so, it fits with the fact that the RSPB are currently spending serious amounts of money fencing their bird reserves. Simply to reduce otter predation.
 

Deejay8

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The trouble with otters is that they are now an apex predator in the U.K. and they shouldn't be. But we don't have wolves and bears anymore, so there is nothing to keep their numbers in control. They were becoming rare and bringing them back in such large numbers is now endangering other species, especially fish. Hunting with dogs used to take the place of wolves and bears, but that's gone now. And now they have been brought back from the brink of extinction, their numbers are too great, and they could do with being humanely controlled. The trouble is that they are poster animals for conservation, so keeping their numbers in check through culling is not going to be popular.
 

Silver fan 82

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The trouble is that the majority of the general public see them as cute furry things. Of course as anglers we know that they decimate fish stocks and as this shows other types of wildlife. I personally say shoot em! Along with the poxy cormorants!
 

Simon R

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This is the third different video I've seen where an otter has a killed a water bird - so presumably there have been many unrecorded incidents of the same kind.
It's too be hoped it becomes more common and the RSPB take notice - they're big and powerful enough to bring some serious pressure to bear on the conservation authorities.
It'll probably get blamed on mink and sadly it's unlikely that anything will happen.

Simon
 

Silverfisher

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Fornunately I've never seen an otter or any evidence of one around here and not many cormorants although the latter do seem to be increasing slightly and apparently the former are about. Something needs to be done about both but I doubt it will.
 

smiffy

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Very emotive subject but think what you would do if this was a pike taking a duckling. Would you say they need culling? Seeing this makes me angry aswell,just the same as watching a lion catch and kill a baby antelope. But it’s nature.
This is my local river and it has had Otters on it since they first reintroduced them and, to be honest, fishes much better now than it did then. I’m not against control of their numbers but we must deal with facts rather than knee jerk emotions.
 

squimp

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This is the third different video I've seen where an otter has a killed a water bird - so presumably there have been many unrecorded incidents of the same kind.
It's too be hoped it becomes more common and the RSPB take notice - they're big and powerful enough to bring some serious pressure to bear on the conservation authorities.
It'll probably get blamed on mink and sadly it's unlikely that anything will happen.

Simon
If the RSPB suggested some form of otter control, half their members would leave. So they are simply keeping quiet and building fences.

Its a bit like the ‘ruddy duck fiasco’. An alien species called the ruddy duck was inter breeding with some of our native ducks. the RSPB suggested a cull of ruddy ducks and immediately hundreds of their ‘do gooder’ members resigned in protest. It cost them a fortune.
 

Silverfisher

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Tbf guess the otters are just doing what otters do but the cormorants are another matter they are supposed to be at sea
 

Deejay8

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The trouble with otters is that there are just too many now ,so they are out of balance with the natural order of things. I don't there is a particular issue because an otter has eaten a bird. Otters are predators and not exclusively fish eating, so the odd water bird will get caught by an otter. It's always been so. But in the natural order of things, otters shouldn't be the apex predator. Apex predators exist in naturally sustainable numbers in the wild.There is never an overpopulation of them. But there can be of predators further down the food chain, and that is a situation that we have with otters. Too many without the natural check of an apex predator.
 

robinta

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I think an Independant survey should decide if there's 'too many otters' before we start shouting to pump them full of lead. There are an indigenous species and have as much right as any animal to be on our waterways.

I once read that an otter needs at least a mile of riverbank each, to survive, which is why they were decimated when mink were released into the wild and took over their territories.

Personally, I love seeing otters back in the UK. The same way I love seeing Red Kites back in my area and raptors returning. They all kill animals and livestock, but I think research would be needed to see if its as out of balance and some perceive.
 

acolyte

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Red Kites in my area are starving-following farm machinery doing it's work. Otters will sooner or later be looking for food that is not there. Otters kill all the fish in the river. And then move on.
 

Simon R

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I'll wager that domestic cats kill many more birds than the otters do, but not to eat, they get fed at home. Maybe we should organise a cull?

John
Not often ducks though - and people do seem more attached to ducks than many other birds - probably because even wild birds can become tame enough to take bread or seed straight from the hand.

This is from Bruno Broughton, it dismisses a lot of the myths spread by 'interested' parties, often with more than a hint of bias.

John.
I remember one of the Yorkshire releases - although it must have been due to some rehabilitated otters 'cos it was certainly post 2000 - three otters were released on Carlton Moor up on the top of the North York Moors and they were supposed to head south and recolonise Bilsdale - River Seph/ River Rye. Unfortunately otters can't read maps and two headed north and followed Scugdale into Swainby Beck, then Potto Beck and ultimately the River Leven (via a short detour through Hutton Rudby Ponds) decimating the wild brown trout population of the various watercourses.
Nobody was too sure where they ended up but once in the Leven they could head downstream to the fish rich waters of the Tees or a short overland journey would see them enter the River Wiske, a major tributary of the Swale. A few years later a pair of otters were killed on the A19 whilst presumably attempting to make just that journey between river catchments.

The River Rye has been decimated to such an extent that a couple of years ago the EA were forced to restock the river with grayling to prevent the species disappearing completely from the catchment. Years ago my club rented a stretch of the Rye just above Rievaulx Abbey and catching in excess of a dozen grayling in a session was not unusual - for them to be on the verge of extinction is staggering.

Simon
 

Simon R

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I once read that an otter needs at least a mile of riverbank each, to survive, which is why they were decimated when mink were released into the wild and took over their territories.

The release of mink - ironically in many cases by animal rights activists - had nothing to do with the decline of otter numbers.
For a start otters will (and do) kill mink - they are a far larger and much more powerful animal. Typically a mink may weigh up to 3lb - they're a similar size to a ferret or polecat - an adult otter can be 20lb+
Otter numbers declined mainly due to loss of habitat and increased use of high dose pesticides which were absorbed by animals as they rose up the food-chain - otters being close to the top.

In many areas mink numbers have declined steeply due to the reintroduction of otters - otters out compete them for live food and leave the mink forced to rely on carrion which otters won't normally entertain.

Simon
 

62tucker

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I think an Independant survey should decide if there's 'too many otters' before we start shouting to pump them full of lead. There are an indigenous species and have as much right as any animal to be on our waterways.

I once read that an otter needs at least a mile of riverbank each, to survive, which is why they were decimated when mink were released into the wild and took over their territories.

Personally, I love seeing otters back in the UK. The same way I love seeing Red Kites back in my area and raptors returning. They all kill animals and livestock, but I think research would be needed to see if its as out of balance and some perceive.
Don’t think Red Kites kill.
 

Lure Finatic

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End of the day it’s like a lot of things we do as a species, we mess with Mother Nature’s balance and look where it gets us.
Otters are an indigenous species, we’ve removed the apex predators that kept them in check, otters reintroduced, they become top of the food chain but were never meant to be.
 

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