European otter

Lutra lutra

The European otter , also known as the Eurasian otter, Eurasian river otter, common otter and Old World otter, is a European and Asian member of the Lutrinae or otter subfamily, and is typical of freshwater otters.
thirsty work... British otter taken at druisillas Zoo, East Sussex European otter,Lutra lutra,Zoo

Appearance

The European otter is a typical species of the otter subfamily. Brown above and cream below, these long, slender creatures are well-equipped for their aquatic habits. This otter differs from the North American river otter by its shorter neck, broader visage, the greater space between the ears and its longer tail. However, the European otter is the only otter in its range, so it cannot be confused for any other animal. Normally, this species is 57 to 95 cm long, not counting a tail of 35-45 cm . The female is shorter than the male. The otter's average body weight is 7 to 12 kg , although occasionally a large old male may reach up to 17 kg . The record-sized specimen, reported by a reliable source but not verified, weighed over 24 kg .
Three otters and a stork These three otters and a stork were caught while eating a fishy meal at the Dublin Zoo Dublin,Dublin Zoo,Europe,European otter,Feeding,Ireland,Lutra lutra,Stork,Zoo

Status

The European otter declined across its range in the second half of the 20th century primarily due to pollution from pesticides such as organochlorine and polychlorinated biphenyls . Other threats included habitat loss and hunting, both legal and illegal. European otter populations are now recovering in many parts of Europe. In the United Kingdom the number of sites with an otter presence increased by 55% between 1994 and 2002. In August, 2011, the Environment Agency announced that otter had returned to every county in England since vanishing from every county except the West Country and parts of Northern England. Recovery is partly due to a ban on the most harmful pesticides that has been in place across Europe since 1979, partly to improvements in water quality leading to increases in prey populations, and partly to direct legal protection under the European Union Habitats Directive and national legislation in several European countries. In Hong Kong, it is a protected species under Wild Animals Protection Ordinance Cap 170. It is listed as Near Threatened by the 2001 IUCN Red List.
Otterly Sad Have no idea what could have possibly made this cute guy sad(  Or maybe it's just some otter wisdom. Czech Republic,European otter,Fall,Geotagged,Lutra lutra

Behavior

European otters are strongly territorial, living alone for the most part. An individual's territory may vary between about one and forty kilometres long , with about 18 km being usual. The length of the territory depends on the density of food available and the width of the water suitable for hunting . The territories are only held against members of the same sex, so those of males and females may overlap.Mating takes place in water. Eurasian otters are non-seasonal breeders and it has been found that their mating season is most likely determined simply by the otters' reproductive maturity and physiological state. Female otters are sexually mature between 18 and 24 months old and the average age of first breeding is found to be 2.5 years old. Gestation for the ''L. lutra'' is 60–64 days, litter weight when being compared to the female body mass is about 10%. After the gestation period one to four pups are born, which remain dependent on the mother for about 13 months. The male plays no direct role in parental care, although the territory of a female with her cubs is usually entirely within that of the male. Hunting mainly takes place at night, while the day is usually spent in the European otter's holt  – usually a burrow or hollow tree on the riverbank which can sometimes only be entered from underwater. It has long been thought that they hunt using sight and touch only; but evidence is emerging that they may also be able to smell underwater - possibly in a similar manner to the Star-nosed mole.
The European Otter The habitat of the European otter has been seriously narrowed down over the last decades. Meanwhile attempts are being made to save the remaining habitat so that otters might have an opportunity to survive in the wild...  Carnivora,European Otter,European otter,Lutra lutra,Mustelidae

Habitat

The European otter is the most widely distributed otter species, its range including parts of Asia and Africa as well as being spread across Europe. It is believed to be currently extinct in Liechtenstein, and Switzerland. They are now very common in Latvia, along the coast of Norway and across Great Britain, especially Shetland where 12% of the UK breeding population exist. Ireland has the highest density of Eurasian otters in Europe. In Italy, they can be found in the Calore river area. These creatures live in the South Korean area, and are endangered.

In general, their varied and adaptable diet means they may inhabit any unpolluted body of freshwater, including lakes, streams, rivers, and ponds, as long as there is good supply of food. European otters may also live along the coast, in salt water, but require regular access to freshwater to clean their fur. When living in the sea individuals of this species are sometimes referred to as "sea otters", but they should not be confused with the true sea otter, a North American species much more strongly adapted to a marine existence.
otter  European otter,Lutra lutra

Reproduction

European otters are strongly territorial, living alone for the most part. An individual's territory may vary between about one and forty kilometres long , with about 18 km being usual. The length of the territory depends on the density of food available and the width of the water suitable for hunting . The territories are only held against members of the same sex, so those of males and females may overlap.Mating takes place in water. Eurasian otters are non-seasonal breeders and it has been found that their mating season is most likely determined simply by the otters' reproductive maturity and physiological state. Female otters are sexually mature between 18 and 24 months old and the average age of first breeding is found to be 2.5 years old. Gestation for the ''L. lutra'' is 60–64 days, litter weight when being compared to the female body mass is about 10%. After the gestation period one to four pups are born, which remain dependent on the mother for about 13 months. The male plays no direct role in parental care, although the territory of a female with her cubs is usually entirely within that of the male. Hunting mainly takes place at night, while the day is usually spent in the European otter's holt  – usually a burrow or hollow tree on the riverbank which can sometimes only be entered from underwater. It has long been thought that they hunt using sight and touch only; but evidence is emerging that they may also be able to smell underwater - possibly in a similar manner to the Star-nosed mole.
Otterific  European otter,Lutra lutra

Food

The European otter's diet mainly consists of fish. However, during the winter and in colder environments fish consumption is signi´Čücantly lower and the otters use other sources for their food supply. This diet can include birds, insects, frogs, crustaceans and sometimes small mammals, including young beavers.

References:

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Status: Near threatened | Trend: Unknown
EX EW CR EN VU NT LC
Taxonomy
KingdomAnimalia
DivisionChordata
ClassMammalia
OrderCarnivora
FamilyMustelidae
GenusLutra
SpeciesL. lutra