Otters roam through central Glasgow and have returned to almost all of Scotland, a survey has found. The fish-eating mammal's population north of the border may now be more than 10,000. Rosemary and Jim Green, who have carried out two previous Scottish otter surveys over the past 20 years, checked more than 3,000 riverbank sites throughout the country looking for otter droppings or "spraints".
Their latest survey, which took four years and was financed by the Vincent Wildlife Trust, found that only 2 per cent of Scotland's area was now uncolonised. Even while it was under way, otters returned to occupy the entire length of the Water of Leith, the river which flows through Edinburgh.
While otters through most of Britain were wiped out mainly by pesticides and other water pollution they held out strongly in the north of Scotland. Now they have come back to much of the central belt between Edinburgh and Glasgow. Nicholas Schoon
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