Cornwall Coastal Otter Project
Wildlife photographer Ian McCarthy has kindly shared with us this wonderful piece of camera trap footage of one of our Cornish otters!
Coastal otters, sometimes known as sea otters, are the exact same species as our typical freshwater European otter (Lutra lutra). The difference is just the location which they inhabit/feed. Despite anecdotal evidence, coastal otters around Cornwall remain elusive, and records are scarce.
Otters mark their territories by depositing spraint (droppings) on prominent features near the waterways e.g. a rock or fallen tree. They tend to clearly contain remains of prey such as scales and bones.
By asking volunteers to collect samples of otter spraint, we can not only boost the records of otters in Cornwall but also collaborate with researchers to identify the animal's prey species as coastal or freshwater.
If you are interested in getting involved, feel free to look through the proposed methodology for sample collection and at the map to check for sites nearby. For the grid reference of each location, please download this document listing the areas with potential as coastal otter sites.
Click on an area of the map to zoom in! Proposed sites are marked by orange circles and are numbered according to the document linked above. If you believe you could survey one or more of the sites please contact us to request a spraint collection kit.
CCOP Blog -
Keep up to date with the project's progress below