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Action Plan:  Species
Mammals
Otter (Lutra lutra)
UK Lead Organisations:
 
 
County Lead Organisation:
 
N/A
 
 
Objectives
  • To maintain and enhance current populations through good habitat management.
  • To promote expansion of populations by the natural re-colonisation of river catchments.

Policy
  • To ensure all Staffordshire LEAPs include specific measures for otter conservation including the creation of otter safe havens. (EA) 
  • Seek to reduce the number of accidental otter mortalities: all new bridges to be designed to allow otter passage at all water levels and mitigation schemes to install otter underpasses at identified accident black spots (HA, SCC, EA); the provision of otter guards on fyke nets. (EA)
  • To resist culverting of watercourses and seek to open up culverts where possible. (EA, LAs)
 
 
Protection
  • Otters and their places of shelter (i.e. holts) are protected under Schedule 5 of the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981 and Schedule 2 of the Conservation Regulations 1994.
  • Otters are given European protection under the Bonn convention.
  • The JNCC has prepared a Framework for Otter Conservation in the UK 1995-2000.
 
Management, Monitoring, Research and Survey
  • The Habitat Scheme Water Fringe Option administered by DEFRA and the Countryside Stewardship Scheme are being used to manage habitat in pilot areas. DEFRA provides advice on creating otter havens on land within agri-environment schemes.
  • FA, FE and the National Forest promote management to favour otter conservation.
  • An SBAP Species Recording Card has been produced and circulated for the otter
  • Seek to gain landowner agreements on targeted areas using the Countryside Stewardship scheme where appropriate. (DEFRA, FWAG, SWT)
  • To work with water companies to modify the grounds of suitable water treatment works and non-operational sites for otter habitat. (SWT, Water Companies)
  • To ensure that all flood defence and routine river maintenance work is compatible with otter habitat needs. (EA, Sow and Penk IDB, LAs)
  • To liaise with mink hunts to avoid disruption of occupied otter habitats. (SWT)
  • To provide and / or protect a series of otter havens every five kilometres of river stretch and to install 100 artificial underground holts. (Developers, Landowners, CLA, EA, SWT)
 
 
Advisory
  • To set up, train and support an Otter Volunteer Network and run training days for key angling clubs, landowners, EA and water company conservation staff. (SWT)
  • To inform the Highways Agency, consultancies and colleges training potential highways engineers and architects of the needs of otters in road schemes. (SCC, EA)
  • To continue to raise awareness of otters and their needs with farmers, riparian owners, anglers and river users. (EA, SWT)
  • To use the otter to continue to publicise the importance of water quality and riparian habitats to biodiversity. (EA, Water Companies, SWT)
 
Further Information
 
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