After a few days in the work shop we have finished the first Otter test raft and its now painted green and ready to go and below is how we expect it to work by securing to the lake bottom using rope underwater attached to a post or weighted down.
The idea behind the rafts is that as there is not many places for Otters to spraint I hoping they will leave spraint on the rafts to mark there Territory's so we can use the information to film them using the rafts. Also as the water on the lake rises many birds such as grebes, coots and moorhens nests were flooded and the eggs and young were washed away and lost, so maybe next nesting season when we have built some smaller rafts for the lake maybe the birds can be encouraged to use them as nesting platforms so that when the water rises so does the raft making the chance of survival for the eggs and chicks increases plus if we can put in wooden posts next to the platforms there is a chance we can attach cameras to film them from building the nest to laying and the eggs hatching, we are currently trying out a few ideas based on this but we will put more time into the Floating Nest project when winter comes and the weather takes a turn for the worst.
Above is a mink I filmed near the lake on a motion camera trap I am thinking that I might need to start a Mink capture project if a notice a drop in the local bird population as I have a legal catch trap with an Otter guard and I know a few people who can dispatch the Mink humanly as posible but if the Otters take up residence here then they may drive the mink from the area then I have no need to take the option above but first I need footage of an Otter in the location before I begin the next step of building an Otter holt and starting other conservation projects in the area of Otters pass.
Thanks for reading