HOW & WHERE TO SPOT WILD OTTERS
AND WHAT TO LOOK FOR – A QUICK GUIDE

Below is a selection of photographs of spraints, tracks and other Otter signs. The best signs are of course the tracks but the other signs that can be found are:spraints: The droppings of an Otter which are 2 – 7cm long, will contain fish bones and scales, be tarry and black but these will turn grey when old and naturally, they will smell very strongly of fish.
Anal Jelly: This is a clear like jelly and smells the same as the spraint. This can also be black and vary in colour.
Tracks/Footprints: The Otter prints can be found at the edge of river banks, in gravel, sand, mud and on tarmac if they have just left the river. They also have 5 toes which is a distinctive sign that its an Otter print.
Anal Discharge: You may find anal discharges on rocks and boulders. There is a picture below to help you recognise this sign :

The best places to find Otters and their signs are:

Under and near bridges
On banksides
On boulders or rocks either in river or near the river
On old tree stumps or logs
At either end of shortcut paths
On gravel banks or sand and muddy areas
Around ponds and lakes
In marshes or reed beds
At river junctions or intersections

When out looking for Otters there are also some important safety advice
 to be given and are listed below:


Try to work in pairs
Only enter the water if its safe to do so
Avoid rivers in full flood or fast flowing sections
Beware of loose banks and slip hazards
Do not drink the water
Always wash your hands once completed
Beware of ticks and Lymes disease and consult your doctor should you feel unwell