Shetlands Otters

A Shetland otter observing the camera.

Shetland has an otter (Lutra lutra) population which is of both national and international significance.

The population of Eurasian otters is approximately 12% of the UK total and is one of the most dense populations in Europe. This has been recognised by the Scottish Executive, which has designated areas of Shetland as SAC's (Special Area of Conservation) specific for otters.

Shetland's otters are here in numbers due to the pristine marine and terrestrial habitat which provides abundant prey species and undisturbed coastal areas.

Shetland offers the ideal environment for otters.

With the relatively low human population in Shetland the otters thrive, living alongside the activities of the modern world. This lack of human pressure means that Shetland's otters are active during the daylight hours, which is in contrast to the nocturnal habits of otter populations elsewhere.

Let Shetland Otters assist you to find and observe these fascinating creatures. Find out more about our otter watching packages.


Gordon Buchanan

You shouldn't leave Shetland without a glimpse of the islands fantastic otters. On my day out with John we got much more than a glimpse. Even before the flask was opened he had found us a lovely otter in a stunning location, followed by another two after lunch. Even if you know your otters you can't possibly know every inch of an unfamiliar place. Thankfully John does!

Gordon Buchanan - BBC Wildlife filmmaker and Presenter