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Otters back across Wales

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James McLaren James McLaren | 10:14 UK time, Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Environment Agency Wales (EAW) yesterday announced that the otter, after nearing extinction in the 1970s, is now back with healthy pockets of population in all river catchments of Wales.


An otter, yesterday

Now 90% of sites surveyed across Wales have otter populations, while in 1978 just 20% bore proof of the aquatic mammal. The otter has also established itself on Anglesey for the first time in 30 years.

Speaking to the Western Mail, EAW's biodiversity officer Rob Strachan said: "Otters were heading for extinction in the late 1970s but they have continued to make a steady recovery and can now be considered to be widespread throughout the rivers and the coast of Wales.

"They are now on Anglesey where they haven't been seen for 30 years, and they are moving right into the heart of Cardiff's River Taff and into Cardiff Bay, Newport and the South Wales Valleys.

"With improved water quality, growing fish stocks, the removal of pesticides in sheep dip and persistent chemicals on crops that can take 30 years to biodegrade, our latest survey shows that nearly 90% of [surveyed] sites now have otters."

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