There are now 52 of the ‘near-threatened’ otters in the Province
The Eurasian Otter was almost extinct in the Northern Netherlands, but thanks to protective measures the animal is making a comeback, with the population having doubled in Drenthe. As reported by RTV Drenthe.
Based on DNA analysis, 52 individual animals are now known in Drenthe- double the 26 of last year.
The total of otters in the Netherlands is estimated at 450. This number is in line with the trend of previous years: 20 percent growth per year.
Sonja van der Wijk participated in the monitoring, she is keeping an eye on the otters in and around the Frisian Veen via wildcams and via trace research. “The results are absolutely positive. The otters are doing quite well, and a lot has been done to make it liveable for them here. The Friese Veen, for example, has become much cleaner, there are a lot of fish.” Whilst fish is the otter’s main food, they have also been known to snack on a water fowl from time to time.
In the Frisian Veen, Van der Wijk is currently also monitoring an otter family of a mother and two young.
Still, there are concerns for the animals, especially because of the traffic. The number of road casualties among the otters is increasing. Over 100 dead otters were reported across the Netherlands this year, and most of them were hit. In 2021 there will be a fauna passage (or green bridge) on the Meerweg, which will become an ecological connection between the Drentsche Aa area and the area of the Friese Veen and the Paterswoldsemeer.
But Van der Wijk hopes that in addition to this major adjustment, smaller solutions will also be possible around the Frisian Veen. “There is an otter path on the other side of the Meerweg, otters also cross the road there”, she says. Signs have been placed this week to warn anyone driving on the Meerweg of crossing otters. “Fantastic, they are such nice signs! In any case, they indicate that there are otters living in the area, many people do not know that yet,” said Van der Wijk