BEAR step in to help otters

Fraser Struthers from BEAR Scotland met with Helen Stephenson and Ben Yoxon from IOSF team last week.

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BEAR Scotland has donated £1,000 on behalf of all staff to Skye-based charity International Otter Survival Fund (IOSF), a firm dedicated to the conservation, protection and care of otters.

BEAR Scotland Environmental Adviser Sarah Rauch-Lynch nominated IOSF due to her passion for looking after the environment and her knowledge of the importance of the work and research IOSF carries out.

Sarah said: ‘I nominated the IOSF because they are a local charity based on Skye which works hard to protect otters and raise awareness of the species in Scotland and worldwide.

‘Otters are one of Scotland’s most iconic native species and we regularly encounter them on the north west trunk road network along our coasts, rivers and canals. We are equally as passionate about protecting otters in the team here at BEAR, so it is great to support such a fantastic charity.’

Last week, Fraser Struthers, BEAR Scotland’s Ardelve Depot Supervisor, met with IOSF’s Development Officer Helen Stephenson and Education and Research Officer Ben Yoxon to hear about the work they carry out to protect otters.

IOSF director Grace Yoxon said: ‘We were delighted to receive £1,000 from BEAR Scotland towards our work on Skye.

‘This will be used for our Team Otter club for children and our new otter hospital, which will help provide specialist veterinary care for otters.’

BEAR Scotland regularly carries out otter surveys to determine whether projects may impact otters or their resting places. If an otter resting place is found near a proposed BEAR Scotland project, camera traps are implemented which helps monitor otter use of the site. Mitigation measures are then put in place to reduce any impacts of work on otters so that they continue to thrive in waterways and coastal areas.

International Otter Survival Fund is the third charity this year to benefit from a new BEAR Scotland charity initiative which focuses on local and regional causes across the country. Staff from all areas of BEAR Scotland were invited to nominate charities which were most important to them.