Otters: What makes these river creatures so fascinating

Ecologist and otter expert Dr Dan Forman, Department of Biosciences, was invited to give a talk at the highly prestigious Cheltenham Science Festival on 6th June this year on these fascinating river creatures.

Dr Dan FormanDr Forman, a senior lecturer in Biosciences and leader of the Coastal Otter Project within the Swansea Ecology Research Team (SERT), said: "The otter is one of Britain's most iconic animals, much famed for their mastery of water and fishing ability. The species has made a remarkable recovery in recent years and can now be found on many rivers and lakes in Britain.

"The otter is a highly adaptable mammal able to exploit a wide range of habitats including coastal locations. Our present knowledge of how important or extensive otter coastal activity might be in Britain is currently limited.

"But through the Coastal Otter Project, we aim to survey and gather information to begin to understand how important coastal areas such as sandy beaches, dunes, docks, salt marshes, estuaries and rocky shorelines might be for otters."

During the 1950's and 60's, otters in the UK experienced widespread population decline, but in recent years, these treasured inhabitants of our waterways are now making a comeback.