Predicting the distribution of Lutra lutra (Eurasian otter) on the Isle of Anglesey, Wales

Activity: Talk / Presentation / Podcast / WebinarOral presentation


Eurasian otters (Lutra lutra) remain a high priority conservation species despite recent increases in UK populations. Specifically, a marked increase in abundance (50%) was observed on the Isle of Anglesey (North Wales) between 2002 and 2009. Understanding the drivers that act upon the distribution of L. lutra will allow for more targeted conservation efforts. In this study, species distribution modelling (MaxEnt) was applied to predict the potential distribution of male and female L. lutra across Anglesey. Elevation, and distance to roads and water (m) were found to be the most influential factors in determining the distribution of
individuals across all models. The generated models performed better than random and where capable of identifying areas where L. lutra could potentially occur across Anglesey (AUC = 0.818). Sex-specific analysis of proposed distribution of L. lutra was found to have strong positive correlation between the genders (r = 0.71) suggesting that habitat preference may not be gender specific. In further near distance analysis (shortest distance of L. lutra presence to feature), no differences were observed between transient males and more residential females (p = 0.175). Locations for concentrating future research efforts are suggested through analysis of intraspecific spatial variation, human disturbance effects and population analysis across the study region. This study provides a baseline of L. lutra habitation possibility across the Isle of Anglesey and exposes areas for future conservation in habitat management and research efforts.
Period25 Jan 2019
Event titleUKIRSC 2019 - 13th Annual Conference
Event typeConference
Degree of RecognitionNational


  • habitat mapping
  • distribution modelling
  • habitat suitability
  • modelling