Conservation measures for the Eurasian otter in the Czech Republic

More otters are killed on roads every year.

Traffic kills more and more otters every year. About 50 dead otters are found every year on Czech roads and the number is continuously increasing. The reason is the increase in intensity of road traffic as well as barrier effect of roads that, when crossing a river or stream, do not provide safe underpass or overpass that could be used by otters. The new map application launched by ALKA Wildlife aims at changing this situation. The organisation has warned that if the negative trend in otter road mortality continues, the otter population in the Czech Republic would be seriously threatened by extinction.

Our data shows that collision with a vehicle is the most common cause of death in the collected dead otter individuals. Probability of collision with a car depends on traffic intensity. Otters died most often on the 1st class roads (45.1% of individuals that died on roads), followed by 2nd class roads (22.8%). Dead otters on roads were found in 30.4% of cases in close proximity to watercourse, in 25.5% of cases at a dam of a reservoir (pond) and in 44.1% of cases there was no water body or stream near the place of finding. The proportion of deaths on roads in the period 1990–2000 was lower (57%) than in the two following decades (80% and 78%, respectively). More, our new data show that the numbers are still increasing,” says Katerina Poledníková from ALKA Wildlife. “More importantly, improvement of the situation on the roads does not necessarily need to be financially demanding. Very often the adjustments of the underpasses are quite easily made and cheap – e.g. building of wooden bench or clearing of clogged culvert.

The map application therefore aims especially at national Road Authorities and Nature Conservation Authorities who are in charge of such improvements for otter.

The most dangerous road for otters in the Czech republic: the dam of Nove mlyny reservoir.

Last steps. Foodprint in the mad is the last remark of otter found dead in the vicinity.