Factors influencing use of freshwater pools by otters, Lutra lutra, in a marine environment

L Lovett, H Kruuk, X Lambin

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Eurasian otters (Lutra lutra) inhabiting a marine environment need to wash in freshwater in order to maintain the insulating properties of their fur. Use of freshwater pools by otters on the coast of Skye was studied in order to determine factors influencing pool choice. A number of characteristics were recorded for all pools present. Otter spraints were recorded as an indication of pool use. Only 34% of available pools were utilized by otters. Stepwise logistic regression revealed that choice of pools is influenced by pool depth, the percentage of a pool's substratum composed of flat rock, and the surrounding percentage cover of short grass. Possible reasons for these associations are discussed. The information may be of use when selecting and managing coastal areas for otter conservation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)825-831
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Zoology
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1997



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