Removing barriers for the river and the otter

The inaccessibility of rivers for prey makes hunting a real ordeal


Macu Infantes

The Eurasian otter currently has a least-concern conservation status in the Picos de Europa. The main danger faced by this species is food scarcity along the course of the river. Otters are also highly territorial. Although the territory of a male otter may cover the territory of several females, they don’t allow other male otters to hunt inside it, which further complicates the situation. The otter is therefore faced by a lack of animals for predation and a consequent reduction in the habitable portion of the river.

  • The removal of weirs and dams by Divaqua, such as the weir in the Deva and Bullón rivers, has enabled fish such as salmonids to go upriver, resulting in increased food availability for the otter.

  • Otters are highly elusive animals. It’s therefore far more common to find their traces (footprints and droppings) than the animals themselves. These traces contain many shells and scales, giving them a very heterogenous appearance.

  • The presence of weirs and dams is a physical barrier to aquatic species, which cannot swim back up the river.

  • Varied diet

Salmonids and eels