Look and Learn about Otters on The River Dodder with Irish Wildlife Trust. Feb – March at Herbert Park

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Image from Otter posterDublin City Council has joined with Irish Wildlife Trust to host a series of free walks, talks and activities in the City’s Parks and open space to celebrate Dublin City’s Biodiversity. 

This programme will start with the IWT otter survey of the Dodder over February and March. To prepare for this the IWT will conduct otter survey training at Herbert Park  at 10 am on February 27th.   It is free to attend with voluntary donation to the IWT and a commitment to participate in the survey. 

Our rivers, canals, watercourses and coasts are home to the elusive Otter (Lutra lutra). They are shy animals who are mainly active at night.  Their presence is indicated by their trails and black tarry fishy smelling dropping called spraint. As otters are at the top of their food chain their presence on rivers indicate a thriving fish population, good water quality and a varied biological diversity on the river bank.  Otters are a protected species under the EU habitats directive and the Irish Wildlife Act 1976.  They breed in Holts. These are tunnels they create in the riverbank and these banks can also be degraded by the growth of invasive plant species like Japanese Knotweed and Himalayan Balsam. 

As part of the IWT survey of the Dodder you can learn to spot their trails and tracks. The results from this survey will help all groups associated with the River Dodder to manage and enjoy the river and riverbanks  while at the same time protecting existing habitats for the Otter. 

For more information go to www.iwt.ie/otter-surveys/dublin