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Roding find is otterly fantastic

PUBLISHED: 18:41 06 April 2009 | UPDATED: 11:09 11 August 2010

OTTERS have been found in the Barking and Dagenham area for the first time in many years. The cute water-loving mammal has been spotted in the River Roding according to last year s otter survey conducted by the Essex Wildlife Trust. In 1991 there were onl

OTTERS have been found in the Barking and Dagenham area for the first time in many years.

The cute water-loving mammal has been spotted in the River Roding according to last year's otter survey conducted by the Essex Wildlife Trust.

In 1991 there were only three sites in Essex where the otter was thought to be thriving - but 18 years later the little fellows are making a come back.

Positive signs of otter occupation were found along the banks of the Roding and regular sightings have been reported to the Wildlife Trust.

The 2008 otter survey was the best year since it officially started in 1996.

It showed a 41 per cent rise in the signs of this beautiful species around Essex and Greater London.

Otters were nearly extinct in Essex 20 years ago and according to experts there have not been any signs of them in Barking for 50 years.

Water for Wildlife Officer, Darren Tansley, said: "This is an extremely encouraging result for otters in Essex."

As the otter population increases so will its territory which brings the species into contact with humans more often.

Otters have been found drowned in illegal fishing nets and also fall victim to road traffic accidents.

Darren Tansley said: "Our generation will decide whether we can accommodate this species and allow them to recolonise the rivers and wetlands."

If you would like to find out how you can help protect these amazing animals call the Water for Wildlife staff on 01621 862960.


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