Otter Cub Rescue

Mull Otter Group received a call yesterday about an otter cub at Glenforsa.  The cub had not moved for some time and was not very responsive so the decision was taken to look after it. This is always a carefully considered decision – it would be all too easy to interfere in a situation where the mother otter could return.

It is currently being looked after by Sue Morley with milk and rehydration fluids. It is in a weak condition but hopefully it will survive and be transferred to a proper rehabilitiation facility.

Many thanks to Sue for her hard work and to the person who reported it.

Fingers and toes crossed for this poor wee thing.

Rescued Otter Cub Rescued Otter Cub Rescued Otter Cub

 

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Nature Trails and Beach Cleans

What a busy day MOG had yesterday.

First we joined Lochdonhead Primary school at their nature trail. A great opportunity for a photo at the otter sculpture and otter information board.

The children from Lochdonhead School

The children from Lochdonhead School

The children from Lochdonhead school along with Mrs Carmichael, and Mrs Grierson, and from MOG, Marie Fox and Nigel Burch, and of course Loki the spaniel

Then it was over to Lochbuie for the Great British Beach Clean, where the children helped us survey a 100m stretch of beach. To begin with it was raining, which was not in the forecast!  How were we going to get out the paper forms for the survey?  Luckily the rain stopped and we could get the job done.

Along with the other volunteers that went to Laggan, we collected 18 bags worth of plastic rubbish. Thanks to the council for agreeing to pick up the rubbish. Sadly this is an ongoing job, as it won’t be long before more washes in. But there is hope that the next generation can change things for the better!

Thank you to Lochonhead School and the other volunteers for your hard work.

Wave your litter pickers in the air. The children of Lochdonhead school at the Great British Beach Clean

Wave your litter pickers in the air. The children of Lochdonhead school at the Great British Beach Clean

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World Otter Day 2018

Otter Fun at Bunessan Primary

Children with painted otter faces

Otter faces at Bunessan Primary

Bunessan Primary School on the Isle of Mull celebrated World Otter Day on 31st May.  Mull Otter Group Committee organised a day packed with otter-filled activities.

Children in P5,6 and 7, helped by Val Leckie, made beautifully observed drawings of Eddie the Otter. In Marie Fox’s hands, their Maths lesson became a practical approach to collecting data and a discussion about wildlife groups’ collection of statistics. Mull Youth Theatre’s Andi Stevens’ lively drama session created acrostic poems with words and movements. How do you differentiate mink and otters? Mull Otter Group’s Nigel Burch and local Ranger Emily Wilkins taught them how.

The younger ones had a busy day, too. Anna Mockford, ably assisted by Georgia, transformed them into otters with facepaints. Local artist Julie Ward helped them make clay model otters and Jane Putsey showed them how to make otter prints. Sue Morley helped them explore and understand an otter skeleton.

Others enjoyed Sue Penny’s telling of the travels of the Utterly Otterlys. Nigel Burch taught them how to spot otter signs in a specially created otter trail. What do you do if you find a sick or injured otter? Jane Stevens, Chair of Mull Otter Group, explained: then everyone had fun working in the Otter Rescue Centre.

Jan Sutch Pickard and her granddaughter Katie gathered the children’s ideas to make a lively poem: A Romp of Otters.

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Photo Competition: Winner Announced!

Congratulations to the winner of our photo competition, Neill Binns.  One of our fantastic new “Otter Spotter” mugs, featuring original artwork by local artist Janet Schofield, is on its way to you.

It was very tricky to pick a winner from all the stunning entries, but we are sure you will agree that this relaxed and intimate portrait of an otter is simply excellent. Well done to Neill.

The winning entry:

Eurasian Otter

Photo by Neill Binns

 

Many thanks to all who entered. We really enjoyed seeing your otter photos. The standard was very high.

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Mega Beach Clean!

Mull Otter Group had a very exhausting day on Sunday 15th April.

We trekked to the area just before MacKinnon’s Cave on the west coast of the Isle of Mull and gathered up years of plastic debris that had been washed in from the sea.

We created a monstrous pile of rubbish which received a big thumbs down from two of our volunteers, Emily and Lottie.

Plastic Marine Litter

A big thumbs down for plastic. Photo by Darren Morley

 

The next task is for the rubbish to be taken away by boat with the help of Turus Mara.

Pile of rubbish at MacKinnon's Cave

The pile of rubbish at MacKinnon’s Cave. Photo by Darren Morley.

A big thank you to all of our volunteers and the unsuspecting hikers who were also roped in!

Find out more about Mull Adopt-a-Beach.   Consider joining us on a beach clean or adopting a stretch of Mull coast near you.

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More Roadside Reflectors to Help Otters

MOG had a very busy day on Sunday installing more roadside reflectors near Garmony, and at Inverlussa. The hope is that at night time otters will see the reflection of car headlights and be deterred from crossing the road until the car passes.
We also found time to properly install our otter sculpture at the Lochdonhead School nature trail. Many thanks to all who helped and for the nice cakes.

Otter Sculpture at Lochdonhead Nature Trail

Otter Sculpture at Lochdonhead Nature Trail

 

Otter Sculpture at Lochdonhead Nature Trail

Otter Sculpture Installation at Lochdonhead Nature Trail

Reflector installation at Garmony

Reflector installation at Garmony

Installation of roadside reflectors at Inverlussa

Reflectors at Inverlussa

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Photo Competition

Calling all otter spotters! Mull Otter Group have a photo competition where you could win a mug featuring original artwork by local artist Janet Schofield.

NOW CLOSED FOR ENTRIES

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Gordon Buchanan becomes Mull Otter Group’s Patron

Gordon Buchanan, Mull’s own internationally renowned wildlife photographer and filmmaker, has agreed to be patron of Mull Otter Group.

Gordon Buchanan

The television wildlife presenter and cameraman has spent his career filming wild and wonderful creatures in remote areas of the planet. Gordon has taken part in challenging expeditions across the globe in South America, Asia, Africa, Papua New Guinea, Russia and Alaska, always with a view to raising awareness of the fragility of the world’s endangered species and habitats.

Most recently Gordon has been on our screens in the highly acclaimed Tribes, Predators and Me, Elephant Family and Me, Life in the Snow and Life in Polar Bear Town.

The Mull Otter group says ‘Although a healthy population of otters exist on the Isle of Mull, the Eurasian Otter is still classed on the IUCN red data list as ‘vulnerable’. The intention of the Mull Otter Group is to work together with the local community, other agencies and visitors to the island to ensure that otters on the island are given the respect that, as wild animals, they deserve.’

Gordon will support the group that works on his home island in their conservation of otters through practical interventions, information gathering and education.

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Beach Cleaning Equipment

Mull Adopt-a-Beach receive their funding cheque from MESS

MOG’s Mull Adopt-a-Beach scheme has recently been granted £500 for beach cleaning equipment. £350 from Sea Changers and £150 from MESS Island Castaways charity shops.

Not only will it help with our beach cleans, but we will lend the equipment to any organisation or individual on Mull, free of charge.

We have 20 sturdy litter pickers, 20 pairs of gloves, and 5 handy-hoop bag openers. If you have a beach clean and would like to borrow some equipment please contact Marie Fox on mfox62@gmail.com.

Many thanks to Sea-Changers and MESS, and happy beach cleaning!

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World Otter Day

May 31st was World Otter Day, and Mull Otter Group marked the day with lots of fun and educational activities for local children.

We were joined by Ulva Ferry, Dervaig, Lochdon, and Lochaline schools at Craignure Bunkhouse.  With the sun shining, and all those eager, young faces the scene was set for a brilliant day.

Nigel Burch lead children on a walk to the shoreline to spot signs and tracks of the local otters, and back at base camp he showed the children a miniature model of the otter’s world including freshwater pools, spraint patches, and the difficulties presented to the otter of how to cross the road!

Meanwhile, Laura Penny explored the mysteries of an otter’s skeleton with another group of children.

Otter Skeleton

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another group of children learned all about rescuing orphaned otters with Jane Stevens.

Other groups of children engaged in story-telling, making collages, writing postcards.

And if that wasn’t enough there was otter face painting provided by Imogen

The groups of children then swapped around, so everyone had a chance to try everything!

Some children from Lochaline, along with some adult wildlife enthusiasts, spent the whole day with David Woodhouse from Isle of Mull Wildlife Expeditions. They had a great day out, and saw practically every example of Mull’s great wildlife including an otter!

Many thanks to all involved in the day. So many people devoted their time for free, and we couldn’t be more grateful.  Special thanks go to Craignure Bunkhouse for kindly letting us use their lovely space for our event, and being so helpful.

And we were so glad that the children seemed to enjoy themselves, and learn so much at the same time!

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