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Otter sightings on the rise

PUBLISHED: 09:02 19 October 2010

OTTERS are increasingly setting up home in the wetlands area of Suffolk.

The once rare mammals are growing in number, according to the fifth Environment Agency (EA) survey.

Nearly 60 per cent of their sample sites across the East of England showed positive evidence of otters between July 2009 and March this year.

That figure stood at just three per cent between 1977 and 1979, and 26 per cent between 2000 and 2002.

The increase is being put down to a ban on pesticides, legal protection for the mammals and a significant improvement in water quality.

In the east of Suffolk there were otters at 36 of the 60 sites, up from 24 locations in 2002.

The survey said: “There has been a significant overall expansion of otter range in this area and they now use all the main watercourses.”

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