Видра річкова

Estimation of abundance and territorial distribution of the river otter

The study of the otter is one of the directions for determination of value of the Exclusion Zone particular sites that are part of the Chernobyl Radiation and Ecological Biosphere Reserve.

Exclusion Zone canals – typical places of the otter habitation
Exclusion Zone canals – typical places of the otter habitation

Search for the otter droppings with the food remnants
Search for the otter droppings with the food remnants

The otter has protective categories both under the Red Data Book of Ukraine (2009) and the decision of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Its presence at the different sites and high abundance indicate the importance of these lands in conserving the species.

The otter tracks
The otter tracks

River Otter
River Otter

The study was started in March 2018 by the Chornobyl Center for Nuclear Safety, Radioactive Waste and Radioecology jointly with the specialists of Kharkiv Karazin National University (Ye. V. Skorobahatov, A. A. Atemasov) and will continue throughout the year. The main attention is paid to the rivers, lakes and canals. The study includes the search for tracks and marks, the remains of fodder objects, niches, visual observations and description of the natural conditions. Due to the large size of the territory, the main work will be carried out on a series of the control sites with the typical conditions for the region with the further extrapolation of the results to the entire Exclusion Zone.

Researches are conducted in the frame of UNEP-GEF project “Conservation, Optimization and Management of Carbon and Biodiversity in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone“.