River Mulkear Otters

Here are some selected videos from our Otter surveys. The videos below are all from the River Mulkear, Co Limerick, which is part of the Lower River Shannon SAC. Otters are a key conservation interest of this Natura 200 site.  The first video below is of a family of otters and was taken during early May 2017.

The following video was also taken during June 2017.

The final video below is also from June 2017 and was also taken on the River Mulkear, Co Limerick. Watch out for the appearance of a Sparrowhawk and a Pheasant at the end of the video.

Otters are found in most aquatic habitats in Ireland, including rivers, lakes and coastal areas. Their dwelling places are called holts and several of these features will be located within an individual’s territory. Resting sites known as couches will also be used at ground level within a vegetated area which may be linked to the water by a regularly used path which can be accessed quickly to slide into the water. Otters are nocturnal carnivorous hunters remaining within a holt for most of the day. The otters diet is varied depending on the local abundance of a particular prey item and its seasonal availability. On the River Mulkear otters eat eels, lampreys, salmonids and coarse fish.

Otters can breed in Ireland year round but mating usually occurs in spring and summer, females will breed only once per year. Otters will give birth to an average of three cubs preferably in summer to maximize their chances of survival.  Mortality rates are low if the cubs are born in the summer and they can expect to live for up to 5 years on average in the wild in Ireland.

Our company provides a range of  terrestrial mammal surveys for all mammal species in Ireland

The Otter is in decline in many areas across Europe. However they are doing reasonably well in Ireland where good population densities now exist. Most populations of otters in Europe are listed as being vulnerable, in decline or extinct making the Irish population all the more important. Otters are protected in Ireland under the Wildlife Act (1976, 2000) and are also listed under Annex II and IV of the EU Habitats Directive Directive.  They are also listed under Appendix III of the Bern Convention.

For further information on otters see this page from the Vincent Wildlife Trust. Also, please also visit our main website at www.ecofact.ie and contact us if you have a requirement for an Otter survey or indeed any other type of ecology survey. Our company provides a range of  terrestrial mammal surveys and assessment services for all mammal species in Ireland, including bat species, badger, otter, pine marten among others.

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