Otter (Lutra lutra)
As members of the weasel family (Mustelidae), otters appeared on Earth more than 5 million years ago. The otter is an important indicator of healthy aquatic ecosystems and in Romania the species is found in the entire country, especially in lakes and large rivers, more often in moors and in the Danube Delta.

Water pollution with DTT in the 60’s – 70’s endangered the otter species in Europe but, with conservation efforts, the situation is improving.


The most important threats to otter population in our country are the following:

• The impact the construction of micro hydropower plants has on otters habitat;
• Water pollution with household and industrial chemicals, pesticides, heavy metals, mercury and fertilizers;
• Fish traps (fishing nets, stake nets, cast nets) which accidentally trap otters, being attracted by captive fish.
• Food quantity decrease because of intensive fishing.
• The existence of the American otter, an invasive species.


• Conduct field research and inventorize the species in protected areas;
• Raise people’s awareness on the necessity of otter conservation;
• Gather and analyze national data regarding the conservation status of the otter, through an online platform, a ‘citizen science’ strategy where everyone can contribute to gain better knowledge and monitor the conservation status of the otter.