A dog otter amongst sea weed (c) Davy Renney


Otters are inquisitive, playful and intelligent, often appearing to take childlike enjoyment in sliding around on muddy banks or in snow. They are semi-aquatic mammals and live in holts around water edges. They are fast, agile swimmers. Bubbles of air trapped in their fur give them a silvery appearance underwater.

Scientific name: Lutra lutra

Rank: Species

Common names:

  • Common otter,
  • Eurasian otter,
  • Eurasian river otter,
  • European otter,
  • Old world otter

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Map showing the distribution of the Otter taxa

Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

The Otter can be found in a number of locations including: Africa, Asia, China, Europe, Indian subcontinent, Mediterranean, Russia, United Kingdom, Wales, Ynys-hir nature reserve. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status

Near Threatened

  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Population trend: Decreasing

Year assessed: 2008

Classified by: IUCN 3.1

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