Monitoring and assessment of conservation status of the Eurasian Otter (Lutra lutra) in Denmark

Publikation: KonferencebidragPosterForskning

Monitoring and assessment of conservation status of the Eurasian Otter Lutra lutra in Denmark

Søgaard B. ¹, Madsen A.B.¹, Elmeros M.¹

¹Institute of Bioscience - Kaloe, Aarhus University.

Eurasian Otter; Monitoring; Conservation status

According to the EU Habitats Directive Denmark has initiated systematic monitoring of species in the Annex II and IV of the Directive – including the Eurasian Otter (Lutra lutra). The program focuses on monitoring distribution and range of the otter population in order to provide an assessment of its conservation status.

The otter Lutra lutra suffered serious declines in Denmark during the 1960s and 1970s. A series of conservation and management projects were initiated to protect the remnant population, including national surveys and the development of a management plan for the otter in Denmark in 1996.

The recovery of the otter in Denmark was described by five national field surveys in 1984-1986, 1991, 1996, 2004 and 2011-2012. The surveys document a substantial increase in range during the past 25-30 years. The national survey carried out in 2011-2012 showed, that the otter has extended its range with more than 300% - reflecting an increase in population size as well.

Based on the results of the survey carried out in 2011/2012 Denmark has assessed conservation status of the otter, which was reported to EU in 2013, as done by the other member states. In the Atlantic biogeographically region (western part of Denmark) conservation status is assessed as favourable, while status in the Continental region (eastern part of Denmark) is assessed as unfavourable (bad).

DNA analysis of spraints found in 2012 documents that the otter for the first time in 25 years are recolonizing the island of Funen in the middle of Denmark. In parallel with the expansion of the otter inside Denmark, DNA analysis of dead found otters in Schleswig-Holstein (North Germany) shows that “Danish” otter have crossed the border to Germany connecting the Danish population to the East German population, which spreads into Schleswig-Holstein from Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
StatusUdgivet - 2014
BegivenhedXII IUCN OSG International Otter Congress: An Action Plan for the future - Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brasilien
Varighed: 11 aug. 201416 aug. 2014


KonferenceXII IUCN OSG International Otter Congress
LokationUniversidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro
ByRio de Janeiro


  • Eurasian Otter; Monitoring; Conservation status

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