Wildlife advent calendar: Day 18: Eurasian otter
There is no denying that otters are very hardy animals. They do not change into thick winter furs like some other animals do, instead they have to risk large amounts of heat loss in the chilly waters. Eurasian otters, however, have adapted to survive these conditions by eating up to 15-20 percent of its body weight each day. They have also adapted to hunt prey that is the most abundant during this time of year.
The breeding of Eurasian otters is non-seasonal, in other words they can breed at any time of the year. Because of these harsh conditions only 50% of otter cubs survive until the spring months. Otter conservation in the UK has been incredibly successful increasing your chances of being able to see one. The best place to look for otters is in clean water ways with plenty of vegetation on the banks of the river. Some otter hotspots include wildlife trust reserves Cricklepit Mill and Aughton Woods.
Image taken from Flickr user Linda Martin
Discover wildlife – How do otters cope in winter
Country file – Where and how to spot an otter