Wet summers 'hit' otter survey work in Scotland
Wet summers hampered efforts to accurately survey for otters in Scotland, a new report has said.
Scientists looked for evidence of the animals at 44 Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) and assessed 34 to be in a "favourable condition".
However, in the report for Scottish Natural Heritage, they said during the survey work in 2011 and 2012 flooding affected some of the sites examined.
The scientists said it highlighted the need for regular monitoring.
Since studies in 2003-04 otters were thought to have declined slightly, according to the report.
The mammals had previously been rising in numbers since the mid 1980s.