The spotting of the otter in the vicinity of the River Durme, a tributary of the River Schelde, and the Moervaart waterway is also good news for the valley as a whole. It is evidence that the local environment meets high quality standards.
Biologist Joris Everaert: “Otters only occur where there is a lot of fish, when water quality is good and when a waterway is calm. It’s important to retain this calm because otters only occur in areas where humans fail to tread.
Joris Everaert: “Otters are shy by nature and avoid contact with humans.”
The otter has been seen as extinct in Flanders since the Eighties, but is now making a cautious return. It now needs to be seen whether the otter will breed. Volunteers are examining the excrement to establish whether more than one otter is involved.
Joris Everaert: “We don’t know if it’s a male or female animal yet. Once we know we can be on the look-out for a mate.