[Tweeters] River otter(s) confirmed ... implied threat to otter

Stewart Wechsler ecostewart at quidnunc.net
Thu Oct 15 00:01:52 PDT 2009

It disturbs me when I read at the bottom of the posting below from Tweeters
what I believe is an implication that a wild, native River Otter maybe
should be trapped, and potentially killed to protect some domestic ducks,
even if many of those ducks species are native here. Surely the caging on
the duck enclosure may need to be improved and I could even understand
wanting to live trap and move an otter, but there is no mention of "live"
trapping in the below post.


Stewart Wechsler
-Ecological Consultant - Nature Guide
Naturalist - Botanist
206 932-7225
ecostewart at quidnunc.net
-Advice on the most site-appropriate native plants to maximize the site's
potential for native biodiversity
-Educational programs, nature walks, and field trips for schools, public and
private groups
-Botanical Surveys

----- Original Message
Sent: Tuesday, October 13, 2009 2:30 PM
Subject: [Tweeters] River otter(s) confirmed at Pilling's Pond and Green

Dave Kunkle, owner of Pilling's Pond, recently reported that a "full-size"
river otter had killed at least twenty of his birds in June. This included
twelve Mandarins, four Mallards, one Pintail, one Redhead and his female
European Shell Duck. He chased the critter away the next evening, then
screened the pond's outlet as this was the direction in which the otter
headed. He later spotted two smaller otters who likely came downstream from
Licton Mineral Springs. He then screened the inlet. He estimates otters
killed more than forty birds from June through the third week of September.

Friends had recently told me of two separate sightings of a river otter in
Green Lake. Yesterday (Monday) I noticed something swimming between the
turtle logs. I was able to get three quick pictures as the otter climbed
onto the nearest log, then dove off in just a few seconds. (I recently lost
my photo-editing software in a hard drive failure, but can email the
unedited files to anyone who is interested.)

There is no way to prove any connection, but Dave expressed grave concern
for the birds at Green Lake when he heard about the otter sightings there.
River otters are not a protected species in Washington and may be legally
trapped by a licensed trapper.

John - NE Seattle

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