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24 September 2021 - This Week from IOSF!

Submitted by: Astrid

Sea Otter - April Severin

Sea Otter

Photo credit: April Severin

It is Sea Otter Awareness Week. Conservation groups and otter lovers across the globe are celebrating and highlighting this iconic animal with online and in-person events.

Sea otters are currently found along the coasts of Canada, Russia, Japan, California and Washington. The largest recorded population is found off the coast of Alaska. There have been some recent reports of sea otter in Mexico.

The Pacific Rim, historically, supported 150,000 to 300,000 sea otters but the population is now estimated to be at around 106,000.

16,000 endangered Southern sea otters once roamed the California coastline. Today, approximately 3,000 animals remain, mostly concentrated between Santa Barbara and San Francisco.

Andrew Johnson, California representative with the non-profit Defenders of Wildlife: "Over the last seven or eight years with the warming ocean waters, the so-called 'blob' along the West coast, sea star die offs, urchin overgrowth, overgrazing on kelp - the system along our shoreline in California is in a rough spot."

A pioneering programme by Monterey Bay Aquarium is being looked at by conservation groups with a view to expansion. There, biologists successfully rescued abandoned or orphaned sea otter pups, raised them with a surrogate mother then released them into Elkhorn Slough. Going forward, these groups are aiming to reintroduce new colonies of sea otters into Northern Californian waters.

Otter Oscar

* IOSF Otter Oscars 2021 *

Do you know an outstanding Young Person?

The Young Person (under 18) Award - nominate using the form HERE today!

Other categories are:-

* Research Award
* Community Achievement
* Group or Organisation
* Photography or Artwork
* Special Award

* nominate in more than one category
* one nomination per category
* you can nominate yourself
* nominations accepted till 26th Nov
* winners announced week commencing 6th Dec


* News from the Sanctuary *

Meet our new arrival...Oliver!

He was found at Dunnet Bay, Caithness by a Blue Highlands Bird Rescue volunteer. He had puncture wounds to his head and was noticeably weak and underweight (3.7kg). After being examined by a vet, he was transferred here to IOSF for rehabilitation.

Oliver is doing really well, now eating four fish over the day, up from three initially, and his wounds are healing nicely. Hopefully, he will soon be able to explore his external enclosure.

You can help support IOSF's work here.

Delft Coaster

IOSF Otter Shop
Where your spending supports otter conservation

* NEW IN! *

Delft Coaster by Perkins & Morley

Check out the other designs in the range too!

13 September 2021 - IOSF's latest e-Newsletter online now

Submitted by: Helen

Our latest news is now available online for you to view.

Simply click through on this link to view the pdf.
NARO-J Scott Shannon

North American river otters
Photo credit: J Scott Shannon

09 September 2021 - Latest From IOSF

Submitted by: Astrid

NARO - Karen James

Photo Credit: Karen James

Otters on Prince Edward Island, Canada

Our latest OTTER Journal published in May 2021 included “A review of trapping of North American river otters (Lontra canadensis)” by Ben Yoxon. In this he stated “These otters are only absent in two areas: Hawaii, which never had otters, and Prince Edward Island where more recently there have been incidents of otters being caught in beaver traps. These are believed to have swum across from Nova Scotia or New Brunswick and perhaps have reclaimed some of their previous habitat.”

Otters on Prince Edward Island were wiped out in the early 20th century by a combination of habitat loss, poaching and trapping. However, a recent article suggests that as sightings are becoming more common they may actually be returning naturally and without the aid of a restoration project.

People always assume these otters are freshwater animals because of the name “river” otters, but they have been known to use coastal habitats for many years. In fact, J Scott Shannon followed five generations of river otters in Trinidad Bay in NW California for 25 years and documented it all in “An Otter Family Album”

It seems as if the current population on Prince Edward Island is only a few dozen, but camera footage of a female with cubs is evidence that they are breeding in the Kensington area. Clearly this is a very small population but hopefully it will continue to grow and repopulate their former island home.

Download Issue 7 of the OTTER Journal (2021) containing Ben’s paper here.

Research Award

* IOSF Otter Oscars 2021 * Who would you nominate for the Research Award?

The Research Award - you must know someone who has excelled in their field. Give them the recognition they deserve by using this form today!

Other 2021 Otter Oscars categories are:-

* Young Person (under 18)
* Community Achievement
* Group or Organisation
* Photography or Artwork
* Special Award

* nominate in more than one category
* one nomination per category
* you can nominate yourself
* nominations accepted till 26th Nov
* winners announced week commencing 6th Dec

Team Otter Broadford

* Team Otter Broadford *

Team Otter Broadford has split into two groups at the request of children who moved up to the high school. There is now a Primary group and a Secondary group, both working towards our common goal of making a difference in the community and beyond.

You can keep up to date on what they are up to by visiting their own Facebook page.

Otter Madness Print

* 'Otterly Madness' by James Williams *

Put a smile on someone's face with these unique, hand-illustrated, watercolour otter prints. Also a great selection of cards and stickers from the popular social media, mad-about-otters man, James Williams (AKA Otterly Madness).

01 September 2021 - IOSF Otter Oscars

Submitted by: Ben

Nominations are now open for the IOSF Otter Oscar awards 2021.

Otter Oscar

Despite the current pandemic over the last 18 months, much superb otter work has been achieved and once again we wish to highlight the efforts by some outstanding people.

We are accepting nominations for the following categories: Young Person (under 18); Community Achievement; Group or Organisation; Research; Photography or Artwork; and Special Award.

We will accept nominations until Friday 26 November 2021, with the results being announced during the week commencing Monday 6 December 2021.

If you wish to nominate someone, including yourself, for any of the categories,
please use the form here

Please note, you can nominate someone for more than one category but only one nomination per category please.

Thanks for all the nominations so far!


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