Otters in Captivity Otters seem to do extremely well in captivity and they are simple enough to care for. In addition, bones, fur or other samples collected from infected animals as souvenirs can transmit this fungus to humans. Other times though these fishermen were intentionally trapping and killing them. Watersports have also added to the disturbance of waterways. Fishing is usually done at night, and the otters can help fishermen catch as many as 26 pounds of fish, crabs and shrimp. When we aren’t conscious of our actions they can help add to the problems that these two elements have created in our society. Since the 1950s riverside habitats have been drastically changed by farming and building techniques in addition to clearing for drainage. They also do their best to educate people about the problems we are creating for Otters. Humans are the biggest threat to sea otter populations. Direct conflict with humans, through shootings, fishing gear entanglements and boat strikes, take a toll on sea otters, but oil spills, pollution, disease and loss of kelp pose major threats. Nowadays this technique is still practiced in Bangladesh, where trained otters are used to chase fish into fishing nets. As otter populations recovered, these changes worked in reverse as the otters’ doings as a top predator flow down through the ecosystem. Otters in Culture The stories surrounding the … When mining and deforestation occur in an area, the otters can be directly affected because the river banks they live on and depend on can be badly destroyed. Humans and the prodigal otters found new spaces for life; the Dead Chicken River of the 1960s had been transformed into a lutrine playground. There are plenty of researchers and scientists out there that observe them without inflicting any harm on them. SINGAPORE: In 2017, when an otter bit a French girl in Gardens by the Bay, many observers attributed the accident to defensive behaviour as humans got too close to a wild animal. Although humans are typically exposed through eating undercooked meat, increases in sea otter exposure to Toxoplasma underscore our own risk of infection through ingesting oocysts from environmental sources. These were washed off the land into rivers etc. The comeback took 50 years, and no small amount of human intervention. Conflicts and problems with humans. From hunting to oil spills to entanglement in fishing gear, there are a variety of ways in which the humans harm the sea otter population. Like most wildlife, otters may be hostile when confronted. Designed by Elegant Themes | Powered by WordPress. As the desire for that fashion trend waned, people stopped killing so many of them. In spite of these pressures, otters were widespread throughout Britain and the population remained steady until the 1950s when it declined rapidly. Even though the fish may not be affected, the poison gradually accumalates in an otter eating a lot of fish, resulting in its death. Otters and Humans The future of many species of Otters has almost been destroyed due to selfishness on the part of humans. Though production of PBDEs is now controlled, they have been found at increased levels in a range of marine mammals. Please donate £1 to help YPTE to continue its work of inspiring young people to look after our world. Otters need space to rest and sleep, and especially to dry their fur off after a hunting swim—this helps them maintain the waterproofing ability of their fur before they return to the water again. While the development of new things for humans is nice, it doesn’t erase the harm that is being done these animals. Otters can transmit rabies to humans and pets. As the top predator in England's rivers and lakes, the BBC reports, otters are an indicator species whose health reveals much about the well-being of the entire aquatic ecosystem. Humans tend to go in and clear out land to make it what they want without taking into consideration that it is home to other creatures including Otters. Others stay in captivity in well managed habitats including those found at Sea World locations. They can help us identify public health problems related to pollution and infections. The future of many species of Otters has almost been destroyed due to selfishness on the part of humans. They include global warming and pollution. While the otters seem to have fit into their urban environment, they still face threats, natural and human-made. Pollution of freshwater habitats has probably had the greatest impact on otters. A 2013 England study also observed certain pollutants disrupting otters’ penile function. The main reasons for the dramatic reduction in the number of otters has been disturbance and pollution. ... That wouldn’t be human. Historically otters have been used by humans to aid in the process of fishing all over the world. One of the first male otters sighted in the Marina Bay family was suspected to have been poisoned. Of all the species to impact the sea otter, humans have likely done the most harm due to the species. 20 Threats to sea otter - Solutions that we must reduce and erase because of the importance of sea otter toward the marine ecosystem balance. In spite of these pressures, otters were widespread throughout Britain and the population remained steady until the 1950s when it declined rapidly. Not all humans though are causing harm against Otters. Otters and Humans. The Otters would be injured or killed in them. MUNIR UZ ZAMAN, AFP/Getty Images. Wiley says that wild smooth-coated otters living in urban areas, like the ones in Singapore, typically become active only at night to avoid humans. Otters are mainly nocturnal and hunt in open, marshy places, rivers, lakes, seashores and estuaries. Many of the parasites that get into river otters (from what they eat) can also infect other mammals, including humans. Scientists have found otter penis bones are weakening due to toxic chemicals found in rivers near oil sites in Canada. However, otters still face many threats to their survival, including chemical pollution (see above) roads, disturbance to their habitat and the fact that eels (one of their main foods) have declined by around 90%. For a variety of reasons in the past and present, humans have damaged the sea otter population. Otters were once hunted for their fur and were thought of as a pest, competing with fishermen for fish. There are also conservation groups and animal rights groups out there that strive to protect them and to help them increase in numbers. The use of pesticides was greatly increased during the 1950s, particularly aldrin and dieldrin. Taking over the natural habitat of the Otters is also a problem. Freezing the infected otter or its tissues will not kill the fungus, even in -80°C. This success is due to better pollution control in our waterways and increased protection for this beautiful animal. Sometimes it was on accident due to the types of nets they used for their catches. The furry mammals are found in … For that to occur though humans need to accept responsibility for what they have done over the course of time. © 2020 Young People's Trust For the Environment. The biggest problem with humans and Otters is that it was once big business to sell the pelts from these animals. The Young People's Trust for the Environment is a charity which aims to encourage young people's understanding of the environment and the need for sustainability. It was fast and easy to kill them, skin them, and make a pocket full of money. There is still hope that one day humans and Otters will be able to live in harmony. However, the tar-pit otter may have a silver lining in the cloud as some contaminants, like strontium, iron, and retene, have been associated with stronger baculum. As the big boom of the Otter pelt industry came along people all over the world were wearing robes, coats, and hats made from such materials. Reduce, reuse, and recycle whenever you can. Most of them can eventually be returned to the wild again. Scientists are concerned about the deformed sex organs of England's otters — and what it might mean for humans. Volunteers work to clean up the waters and to get emergency efforts under way when Otters are in danger due to oil spills or other problems. They are inspiring survivors, but sea otters continue to need our help and, by protecting and recovering this species, we are benefitting our nearshore ecosystem and our coastal communities. You can lobby to your government entities for even more to be done. Since Otters don’t pose a threat to humans there is no reason for such destruction to continue. Human-Otter Conflict In Asia, the human-otter conflict exists, largely due to aquaculture activities, where aquaculturists and fishermen cull otters. In an Ainu folktale, in Urashibetsu (in Abashiri, Hokkaido), there are stories where monster otters shapeshift into humans, go into homes where there are beautiful girls, and try … It is ironic for the sea otter that it took such devastation to their numbers for humans to recognize and appreciate the part they play in keeping the coastline where we live, eat, and play, healthy. Now that you know how vital a sea otters’ role in the ecosystem is and why they’re threatened we want to let you in on 12 simple steps that will help to maintain and hopefully increase sea otter populations. Even those individuals that don’t have a desire to kill Otters have contributed to it in a variety of ways. In other words, riverbanks have become far too tidy for the secretive otter. The sea otter ecosystem is largely made up of thick kelp forests. Depending on the state of the infection, the spores of “Cocci” can also be aerosolized and inhaled by humans. and contaminated fish with tiny amounts of poison. Otters and Humans Relationship. The researchers fear that even human reproductive systems could be affected by the tar pits. Otter-hunting was banned in England and Wales in 1979 and in Scotland in 1982. Smooth-coated Otters are seen as pests and competitors by fishermen and aquaculturists. Otters and humans sometimes work together. Otters and their mustelid relatives were once hunted extensively for their fur, many to the point of near extinction. Sanctuaries are in place that injured Otters can be taken to for medical care. Otters are often elusive, with large ranges and nocturnal behaviour making spotting them a rare and wonderful experience. Since Otters are found in so many locations many people around the world were getting in on the process. Otters were once hunted for their fur and were thought of as a pest, competing with fishermen for fish. In Bangladesh, otters help fisherman maximize their haul. Though most of these pesticides have been restricted since 1962, but residues still remain in the environment today. Seeing sea otters as sentinels helps us to realize the importance of what we contribute to the oceans. Yet they didn’t realize the mass numbers of them that were being destroyed due to commercial fisherman. ... brought many of these people together with the goal of reimagining the relationship between humans and sea otters. The full extent of these human threats on giant otters are’nt well understood yet. Despite regulations designed to protect them, many species remain at … Otter-hunting was banned in England and Wales in 1979 and in Scotland in 1982. Within these forests, sea otters prey on sea urchins, which graze heavily on kelp. Health problems discovered in otters, Chadwick said, "could be a warning for all mammals really, which include us humans." If sea otters are not present, then urchin populations boom, which leads to overgrazing — killing all the kelp — and creating a wasteland known as an urchin barren. For starters, the mammals share the … The disease may come from the environment surround the animals that is not healthy and it affected the animal’s health. They are now rare or absent from lowland areas of England such as the midlands and the south. But the partnership between man and otter is on the verge of extinction. If an otter feels threatened, its heavy, muscular body and sharp claws are enough to overpower pets and small children. Studying the parasites in river otter poop can keep people safe by … But you can bank on the fact that there is an otter somewhere in a river near you if you live in Britain - a remarkable success story for a species driven to extinction in many parts of the country just decades ago. ... Just like humans, animals also can get affected by some disease. Their goal is to make money and they will do so at any cost. There is still hope that one day humans and Otters will be able to live in harmony. Scientist claim that up to 40 percent of these deaths are results of human pollution. Other indirect impacts are also likely to harm them. As a result more people are taking up the cause of protecting these animals. In 2011 it was declared that the otter was again present in all of England's counties - a massive success as they had become very rare indeed. The future of many species of Otters has almost been destroyed due to selfishness on the part of humans. Thanks to the collaborative efforts of individuals, more has been done for Otters by government agencies around the world as well. The pests can grow up to 4 feet long and weigh up to 30 pounds. Hopefully this will all be enough to offset the early destruction of Otters by humans in the past. Many though that the future for the Otter would be safe at that point. Experts also warn the compounds could affect human men as well. New chemical threats come from the build-up of substances like polybrominated dipehnyl ethers (PBDEs), which were commonly used as flame retardants in a wide range of household items including furnishings. Their reasoning was that it would result in more fish remaining in the water for them to capture in their nets. For that to occur though humans need to accept responsibility for what they have done over the course of time. PBDEs don't break down in the environment easily and have been shown to reduce fertility in humans. Otters have a link to humans. Are Otters Dangerous to Humans? After all they were only in it for the money and now it was making them very little per Otter pelt that they provided. OTTERS AND HUMANS CAN COLLABORATE.