Otters and licensing
We can license surveys, development and land management activities that might affect otters – plus the possession of otter specimens.
The otter is a European protected species, fully protected under the Conservation (Natural Habitats, &c.) Regulations 1994 (as amended). This protection also extends to its holts. Find out about the otter as a protected species.
You may need a licence to examine otter structures, use cameras near holts, or conduct research that might disturb otters.
Developers can apply for a licence to allow proposed development works that might affect otters to proceed legally.
Most land management practices are unlikely to affect otters or their holts, couches or other places of shelter. But land managers must consider any structures used by otters, which are protected even when not in use.
NatureScot can issue licences to let you possess otter specimens legally for scientific, research or educational purposes.