May 29

International Otter Day

International Otter Day

International Otter Day is celebrated annually on a floating date at the end of May. Why? Otters are endangered worldwide and the public should become as familiar as possible with this issue. This date was declared International Otter Day by the IOSF (International Otter Conservation Fund) and was celebrated for the first time in 2015.

Around the world, there are many events aimed at introducing different otter species and supporting their conservation. All otter species are currently on the IUCN Red List and their populations are declining due to environmental pollution, toxins in the food chain, poor water quality, limited food availability, illegal hunting, and increasing traffic density. Otters are fascinating animals whose presence indicates the cleanliness of the environment. The biggest problem is the low awareness of otters worldwide. The International Otter Day aims to improve this situation. The Eurasian otter is a carnivorous mammal with a cylindrical body, a long muscular tail, short legs adapted for swimming, and webbed feet. It weighs between 4 and 12 kg and feeds mainly on fish, but also eats frogs, crayfish, and water birds. It lives in clean rivers, streams, and sometimes ponds, and marks its territory with piles of feces. Otters are solitary animals and can live up to 15-20 years. They reproduce in March and April, with females giving birth to 1-3 blind and dependent offspring after a gestation period of 61-74 days. Did you know that there are 14 otter species worldwide, but only one, the Eurasian otter, is found in the Czech Republic?

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