Otterly Brilliant

Pembroke 21C is an amazing group who have really started to have a major impact in Pembroke. I have been lucky enough to have supported some of their work and was very happy to get an invite to the launch of their new wildlife cameras. These have principally been put up to monitor the activities of the otters who live around the two upper mill ponds. We saw an interesting talk on how the work the group have undertaken has considerably improved the biodiversity of the pond, something some people said was impossible when they started. We also had a talk from Geoff Liles. He is a consultant who works all over the world on otters but who obviously has a soft spot for the otters of Pembrokeshire. I learned so much from him. I learned that otters are not recovering so well as here in most of Europe and Belgium has just had its first sighting. I learned that they have an enormous range so even a place as big as the lily ponds at Bosherston may only support one breeding pair. I learned that breeding sites are the main critical factor currently in Wales and that of the known sites on the Teifi 8 years ago 50% have now been lost through inappropriate encroachment by humans, mainly paths letting dogs in. I also learned it is really easy to make a good otter holt out of logs. And then we saw some video clips of otters, including cute cubs playing tug of war with and unfortunate eel and an awful lot of cats hunting through the reed beds. This group is a fantastic example of what can be achieved by the local community. It also exemplifies partnership working with their projects working with so many other groups including the Rivers Trust, the Wildlife Trust, the National Trust, Chevron and many others.
you can see some of the footage from the Rivers Trust’s cameras on http://www.pembsrt.org/content/otters-camera once P21C get theirs on line it will be even better as they are in colour.

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