Dedicated to the conservation, protection and care of otters
Visit the Otter Shop : Join our mailing list


World Otter Day

News of Otters

Otter Blog

Paul's Blog (external)


Join our mailing list

Latest Annual Report

16 December 2017 - 2008

Submitted by: Ben

IOSF takes on the responsibility of helping to fund the care of Dara, a Hairy-nosed otter and ten smooth-coated otters at Phnom Tamao rescue centre, Cambodia.


Although there isn’t much information on Dara’s past we believe he was a pet that outgrew his owners and ended up at a small zoo in Siem Reap. Dara became a figurehead for IOSF’s Furget-me-not campaign.

IOSF is still actively involved in tackling the illegal trade across the world.

15 December 2017 - 2007

Submitted by: Ben

IOSF receives its 100th injured or orphaned otter Ceud. Ceud, which is Gaidhlig for 100, was released the following year.


14 December 2017 - 2006

Submitted by: Ben

IOSF is invited to Ireland to help to set up a new otter sanctuary, which can be used to care for orphaned and injured otters.
This was followed up by an otter survey in County Longford.

13 December 2017 - 2005

Submitted by: Ben

IOSF starts work in Chile on the Marine Otter supporting scientist Dr Claudio Delgado who is working on population density and threats to the species. Furthermore, in Chile, IOSF helps in the raising of two marine otter cubs with 12 years later IOSF continues to work closely with Chinchimen who have pioneered Chilean education work with otters and continue to rear orphaned Marine Otters.
The latest cub, Changuita, is due to be released this month.

Marine otter_Chinchimen

12 December 2017 - 2004

Submitted by: Ben

IOSF supports work on the first ever otter population study in Georgia. Within this work, Giorgi Gorgadze uses camera traps and finds the first ever sighting of Leopards in Georgia for 50 years.

11 December 2017 - 2003

Submitted by: Ben

Although it was thought to be extinct in 1998, the Hairy-nosed otter has been found in small numbers in Thailand and Vietnam.
This took IOSF’s Dr. Paul Yoxon to Vietnam to study the Hairy-nosed otter populations in the U Minh Theong nature reserve on the Mekong Delta. Together with Dr. Dang, who has done a lot of work with the species in the area, we manage to learn more about the populations within the area, as well as, gaining a further understanding on human-otter conflicts. Gaining a better understanding of the conflicts between man and otter helped IOSF as they began to produce training workshops within the area; helping develop solutions for the long terms benefits of all co-existing species.


10 December 2017 - 2002

Submitted by: Ben

IOSF funds three international projects in Nepal, Vietnam and Belarus. The projects are looking into the following:

Nepal – research into the Smooth-coated otter in the Royal Bardia National Park

Vietnam – Survey into otter populations in the proposed U Minh Ha Nature Reserve. Around 11,000 hectares are proposed in the Ca Mau Province to establish a new nature reserve.

Belarus – a conservation approach to maintain the healthy population of otters within the country.

09 December 2017 - 2001

Submitted by: Ben

IOSF funds and supports work on Sea Otters on Commander Islands, Russia. Dr Sevostianov plans to use the funding for long term monitoring of the populations around the island.

Sea Otter 2

Photo by Tabea Lanz

08 December 2017 - 2000

Submitted by: Ben

IOSF organises a conference, bringing together scientists from across Europe, to discuss the effects of pollutants on otters and the increased risk of disease. This conference was a great step forward in future pollutant analysis and its effects on otters.
The conference was held on the Isle of Skye and, despite years working on otters, some scientists had the opportunity to view wild otters for the first time.

2000 SMO Conference

07 December 2017 - 1999

Submitted by: Ben

Hairy-nosed Otters found in Thailand after believed to be extinct. Reports of a Hairy-nosed otter being kept as a pet in Southern Thailand were acted upon and confirmed by Dr. Budsabong Kanchanasaka.
On the back of this information, IOSF set up a project to study the species and raised funds to keep this vital project going. Since then the species have been found across South-east Asia in Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia. However they are isolated populations and the species is still at risk.


06 December 2017 - 1998

Submitted by: Ben

Dr Paul Yoxon attends the 7th Otter Colloquium in the Czech Republic bringing together otter enthusiasts and scientists. During the conference Hairy-nosed otters are discussed and believed to be extinct.

05 December 2017 - 1997

Submitted by: Ben

IOSF puts in the first of its wildlife warning reflectors. These reflectors have been designed to deter otters from crossing the road when there are cars passing. The reflectors simply beam light into the countryside warning wildlife that a car is approaching. Once the car has passed, the light vanishes and the animals know it’s safe to pass. These have now been installed over the country in particular otter road death black spots.

The most recent project has been in Killin where Environmental Action Killin have worked with various organisations to install reflectors on the A827 - more on this in the next e-update.


04 December 2017 - 1996

Submitted by: Ben

IOSF began phase two of its otter facilities. This allowed all rehabilitated otters under our care to have indoor housing and outdoor pens. This ensured that any interaction between otters and us was kept to a minimum and allowed otters an opportunity to be as wild as possible ready for their release.

This is Eliza, one of the first occupants of the new facilities.

Advent 1996

03 December 2017 - 1995

Submitted by: Ben

IOSF conducted the first of its otter surveys across Scottish Islands, surveying 11 different islands. The surveys monitor holts and use spraint analysis to determine diet variations across the islands. Findings showed that otter diets across the islands are similar.

02 December 2017 - 1994

Submitted by: Ben

IOSF releases Su, its first orphaned and rehabilitated otter on the Isle of Skye.

01 December 2017 - IOSF Otter Oscars 2017

Submitted by: Ben

We have been overwhelmed with the number of applicants for this year’s IOSF Otter Oscars. After a lot of thought we are delighted to announce the winners are as follows:

• Children – Years 2 and 3 of Cookham Rise Primary Schools, United Kingdom
After learning about otters in class the children held their very own Otter Awareness Day raising £300 for the otters.
• Young People (12-18) – Budjarn Lambeth, Australia
Despite not having any wild otters in Australia, Budjarn has a real passion for them. He has dedicated his time to promoting otters and raising funds for IOSF and especially the Illegal Fur Trade Fund. He now intends to study Environmental Science at university, particularly in fresh water systems, with a view to dedicating his life to helping the animal he so dearly loves.
• Community Achievement – Christina Ward, Guyana
Christina started a community based conservation initiative in Guyana that supports and educates local communities about giant otters and empowers them to carry out research, protect the waterways, and hopefully begin ecotourism to sustain healthy and viable environment and populations. Click here for more information on this project
• Group or Organisation – River Otter Ecology Project, USA
The Project was set up in 2012 to monitor the return of North American River Otters to the San Francisco Bay Area. It carries out public awareness and encourages people to report otter sightings to learn more about distribution.
• Research – Dr Nicola Oakes, South Africa
Nicola completed her PHD on the conservation ecology of Cape Clawless Otters in 2017 discovering new information and methodology. At the same time she created awareness in the broader community.
• Photography/Artwork – Dave Webb, United Kingdom
A photograph taken while monitoring otters in Devon - see the picture below
• Special Award – Vic Simpson, United Kingdom
Since 1988 Vic has carried out ground breaking and inspirational work on the Eurasian otter and trained others to do so. He has carried out over 700 otter post mortems and trained staff from Cardiff University to carry on this work. His work over the past decades has ensured that conservation efforts towards otters have the correct scientific knowledge to be successful.

More information on each of the winners will be given in our next e-update.

Dave Webb

01 December 2017 - Advent Blog - 1993

Submitted by: Ben

As you will know from reading November's e-update this years Advent Blog will celebrate each year of the International Otter Survival Fund beginning with the founding year.

1993 - After falling in love with otters watching them in the wild, Dr Paul and Grace Yoxon establish the International Otter Survival Fund. IOSF’s aim is to protect and conserve the 13 species of otter found worldwide.