An Otterly Great Day Out

Otter Survey in Bute Park, Cardiff

Otter Survey in Bute Park, Cardiff

Otter by Margaret Holland

Otter by Margaret Holland

On Easter Saturday, The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales and Cardiff University Otter Project joined forces for an unusual event in Bute Park. Instead of the usual Easter Eggs, we were hunting for signs that Otters are living on the River Taff, namely by looking for Otter poo!

Referred to as a ‘Spraint’, Otter poo can be found along rivers, often on prominent structures like rocks and tree trunks. They have a very distinctive smell and are used by ecologists to determine if Otters are in a particular area.

We set up an ‘Otter Hub’ next to the Blackweir in Bute Park, where people could visit to find out more about Otters and see some interesting objects, such as dietary samples that have been extracted from Otter stomachs (frogs bones, grasshoppers and fish bones were just some of the things that have been found).

We also went on walks throughout the day to look for spraints on the River Taff itself. We found spraints at four separate locations near the Blackweir, indicating that Otters are very much active in the heart of Cardiff!

During the course of the day, we spoke to over 500 people and over 50 people helped us look for spraints along the Taff, so thank you very much to everyone who came along and good luck with future spraint spotting Spraint Detectives!

Wildlife Trust staff time for this event was funded with the generous support of the Players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

Keep an eye out on our events page for more events like this.