The river ecosystem of the Picos de Europa

Home to the otter

Lidia Villar

Tracks and traces

The otter is a crepuscular and rather elusive species, making it difficult to spot in the daytime. Two systems are therefore used to locate the individuals of the species in each area.

Firstly, we take advantage of the fact that they use their droppings to mark their territories. They are usually left in highly visible areas and are easy to distinguish from the droppings of other animals. Secondly, we use marks to locate them.


A native species of aquatic ecosystems, it can be found anywhere from the coastline to the high mountains, depending on the availability of food and the presence of water and shelter.

It is present in all the bodies of water in the DIVAQUA area.


Food scarcity

Barriers in river courses

Overuse of water resources

Habitat destruction

River pollution


Large aquatic mustelid with a long body, short and stocky limbs, small ears and a broad tail. Feet with bare soles and five toes joined by webbing. Brownish or cinnamon-coloured fur with a greyish underside, paler around the throat.


It mainly feeds on fish, but also on crustaceans, amphibians and reptiles.

DIVAQUA solutions

Removal of barriers, demolition of dams to improve river connectivity.

Improvement of the structure and functionality of riparian woodland.