The Life in UK Rivers Project was undertaken to develop methods for conserving wildlife in rivers designated as Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), including monitoring populations. One of its publications, Monitoring the otter (Chanin, 2003) recommended a protocol for otters which was designed to provide a simple, quick, but robust mechanism which would yield information that was amenable to statistical testing. The study was commissioned by English Nature to test the feasibility of this approach and collect information on time taken to visit each site as well as the distance travelled for accurate costing of the exercise.
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