There is only one species of otter in the UK – the Eurasian Otter Lutra lutra. The otter is commonly associated with rivers or with the sea (and sea lochs) in Scotland. However, in Pembrokeshire otters are frequently seen on the coast and swimming in the sea. Being mainly a nocturnal animal, otters are more usually seen at dusk or dawn, but they have been known to cross busy beaches in the middle of the day too!
Distribution of spraint (droppings) records and reported sightings show that otters are found throughout the SAC, around the open coast and in the Milford Haven waterway. They are most frequent at places where there is good access to the sea, sufficient tree and scrub cover, near streams where salt water can be washed off, and good feeding locations such as rock pools. They have a varied diet including salmonid fish, crayfish, eels, toads and young birds.
Several coastal research studies have increased knowledge of otters within the SAC, but extra sightings are always welcome as there is still much that isn’t understood. Otter spotters in Pembrokeshire are encouraged to report sightings directly to the West Wales Biodiversity Information Centre. But please do contact us too especially if you have been lucky enough to photograph an otter – we’d love to hear from you.