Did you know that Cork City is full of otters? Previous research has suggested that the waterways of Cork City are an important corridor for otters moving between fresh water and marine habitats. This gives otters the opportunity to feed on a much wider variety of food – both marine and fresh water critters.

Cork Nature Network, in conjunction with Dr. Paddy Sleeman of UCC, are conducting a survey of otters in the Bride River in Blackpool to find out more about how these charismatic mammals are using our waterways. Our team of dedicated otter surveyors is collecting otter spraint (poo to you and me!) for DNA analyses. From these we hope to get a better idea of how many otters are using the Bride and their genetic make-up.

Word is spreading about our otter project! Recently we were invited to Dingle Aquarium to give an overview of our work. Dr. Sleeman gave a fascinating talk about how top predators, including otters, shape their environment. Karen Loxton talked about the survey that Cork Nature Network is doing on the Bride River. Afterwards Dr. Sleeman led a walk to look for signs of otter. He soon found some spraint and an otter seat, which is a site that otter use regularly to spraint on.

We are currently in the middle of our summer otter survey, but will be undertaking another survey in the autumn. If you would like any more information or if you would like to become an otter surveyor, please contact events@corknaturenetwork.ie