Dutch otter facing extinction for second time

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Inbreeding is having a negative effect on the otter populations of Friesland and Overijssel, nature preservation organisations say.

The Das & Boom Foundation and the Leeuwarden Otterstation are sounding the alarm and have asked (PDF) Nature Minister Henk Bleker to take action, De Volkskrant reports.

Because of Bleker’s budget cuts, no research has been done into the otter population since January 1. The letter writers claim that the same things as always endanger a healthy otter population, including fyke nets for fishing, extermination of musk rats, and traffic.

The otter disappeared from the Netherlands in 1998. A program was started in 2002 in which several dozen otters from Northern and Western Europe were reintroduced in Friesland and Overijssel. At last count there were approximately 60 otters in the country.

(Photo by FaceMePLS, some rights reserved.)

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