Highlands & Islands

Wet summers 'hit' otter survey work in Scotland

Otter Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Evidence of otters were looked for at more than 40 Special Areas of Conservation

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.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Scientists said the problems in 2011 and 2012 highlighted the need for regular monitoring for otters

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