IUCN Otter Specialist Group . . . leading global otter conservation Last Update: 25 August 2011
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There are many different causes of otter mortality, and these can be classified into natural or human-originated. Deaths can also be classified into violent, such as for example following an attack by a conspecific, or non-violent where no major external event is apparent. While it is relatively easy to diagnose the causes of violent deaths, it is more difficult to assess the causes of death of those animals that die non-violently. However, overall non-violent causes of death may have a greater impact on otter populations. In particular starvation may be an important cause of death, indeed natural deaths tend to be highly seasonal and occur at times of food shortages. Here below there is a list of possible human-originated causes of mortality for otters with a brief description for each.