The king of the water returns

The king of the water returns

It is still a rare luck in bavaria to see a fish otter. Like 120,000 years ago, it gradually enriches our rivers and floodplains again. For this reason, the coburg natural history museum, in cooperation with the coburg district group of the federation for nature conservation, is showing the exhibition "fish otter – the king of water returns". Until the 29th. November this year the exhibition can be seen.

The nimble fish hunter was originally widespread throughout europe, emphasized museum director carsten ritzau at the opening of the exhibition. However, the animals were hunted, also because of their fur. Since the 1980s, the otter was thought to be extinct in southern germany.

Some sightings

Meanwhile, relatively strong populations are back in the bavarian forest area. Traces of otter existence are also noticed now and then in the coburg region. Sightings by photo traps in the surroundings of bad rodach from the year 2011 and more current kotspuren could be assigned to it. Stefan beyer of the bavarian league for the protection of nature and the environment (BUND) said that the return of the approximately 1.50-meter-long predator was not universally welcomed. There are fishing clubs and pond keepers and various interest groups who are somewhat concerned about the reappearance of the slim jager. Although it is on the red list of endangered species, the pond keepers and their lobby in the upper palatinate succeeded in getting the otter released for shooting as well. The exhibition at the coburg natural history museum aims to show that it is possible for humans and otters to live together. For example, there is an otter manager at the state agricultural office who works with three local otter advisors. They came to the farms and advised the pond keepers, if necessary, how to make their water "otter friendly" could be arranged. They also noted the damage caused by the otters. Protective fences and compensation payments, as well as horizontal migration paths for the otter along water-crossing bridges and the like, made possible a coexistence between the pond keeper and the otter that was not always free of conflict.

As beyer and ritzau emphasized, the otter is extremely active. He sometimes covers distances of 30 to 40 kilometers. According to ritzau, school classes are welcome at the natural history museum in coburg. Unfortunately, due to the corona restrictions, it is not possible for him to drive and make declarations.

Beyer reported that the "otterfranken" project from the ecological education center upper franconia – nature conservation center wasserschloss mitwitz passes on valuable tips and information about the otter. In addition, the otter is an ecological indicator of condition. Because where he is well, the environment is usually still relatively intact.