Reports of otters being killed on Scalpay Bridge

Two 'Caution - Otters Crossing' signs will be installed either side of the Scalpay Bridge.

Two 'Caution - Otters Crossing' signs will be installed either side of the Scalpay Bridge.

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Drivers are being urged to look out for otters while crossing Scalpay Bridge after three were reported to have been killed by cars.

The incidents all took place over the last few weeks according to a report made to the North Harris Trust, leading to concerns there may be more fatalities.

The Outer Hebrides is one of the best places in Scotland to see the elusive mammals which are classed as European protected species.

North Harris Ranger, Matt Watts, has called for drivers to take care on the route and had discussions with the Comhairle to erect ‘Caution - Otters Crossing’ signs at either end of the bridge.

Mr Watts said: “I’d like to put out a request to all motorists to keep a look out for otters on the roads.

“Road kills are considered to be the single biggest cause of non-natural mortality for otters.” 

He continued: “Scotland is home to an internationally important population of otters, with the Western Isles being one of the best places in the country to see them.

“They are truly beautiful creatures, so I’d urge everyone to take care when driving about.”

The North Harris Ranger also thanked the Comhairle for its support, with caution signs expected to be installed in the next few months.

A Comhairle spokesman explained signs have been warning motorists of otters crossing for about 10 years in the Uists, but said this is the first time signs have been requested for Lewis and Harris.

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