Common otter fur was once highly prized, and for many years the species was hunted for this reason, for 'sport' and to protect fish stocks (2). Throughout most of Europe and Britain, common otter numbers declined drastically in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Habitat loss and pollution played a major part in the decline (3). Furthermore, many otherwise suitable rivers lack enough tall vegetation for otters to conceal their holts and to rest in (3). The species has a low rate of population growth due to the extended period of maternal care, the small size of litters and the short average lifespan of about 4 years (2).