Otters are one of our top predators and also the UK’s largest carnivore. Otters are well suited to life on the land and in water as they are excellent swimmers. They have webbed feet to help them glide through the water, dense fur to keep them warm because they don’t have any body fat, this means when they are on land they can move quickly. They can close their ears when underwater to help them stay submerged for longer and have a very powerful tail to help them swim.
The otter belongs to the Mustelid family along with the badger, pine marten, stoat, weasel and the American mink. Active and breeding throughout the year a female otter has her cubs in underground burrows known as holts.
Scotland’s otters are most at risk from road accidents. There are also other threats to them such as creel and eel fishing and mechanical kelp dredging.