Otter (Lutra lutra)
Otters are semi-aquatic mammals, with thick brown fur, webbed feet, and can close their ears and nose when underwater. They are around 1.3m from nose to tail, live in holts around water edges and are fast, agile swimmers. They have 2 layers of fur: a thick waterproof outer one and a warm inner one. The otter has acute senses of sight, smell and hearing, with sensitive whiskers around their snout to help to detect prey. They feed mainly on fish, water birds, amphibians and crustaceans. Although the otter is an exceptionally good swimmer and efficient hunter, it cannot hold its breath for long and the average dive is about 30 seconds
Otters are intelligent and use many vocal expressions including clicks, whistles, chirps, and growls. They also use non verbal types of communication, marking their territory with feces (spraint) is one of the most common ones.
Otters tend to live alone, except during mating and for a short time after the cubs are born. The young will stay with the mother for approximately 13-15 months.
A local wildlife photographer has set up camera traps on the River Mease. This is a link to his website showing these elusive animals http://wwwtalesfromtheriver.co.uk/articles_339686.html