Wildlife Research and Conservation

Registration №



Ministry of Environment: Programme for Research and Development




ALKA Wildlife o.p.s. (Lead Partner)

Nature Conservation Agency of the Czech Republic

Institute of Vertebrate Biology, Czech Republic


Kateřina Poledníková

Target species

Eurasian otter

Project goals

Eurasian otters originally had a distribution throughout the Czech Republic. As a result of hunting for fur, and a deterioration in water quality and food supply, there was a strong decline in numbers in the 20th century. Due to this rapid decline, the otter became classified as a protected species. Since the late 1980s, however, there has been a significant increase in their distribution area. Due to this increase, doubts are being raised about the purpose of protecting otters and the creation of a care program for this species. Despite both of these points, the Eurasian otter is still exposed to significant risk factors such as traffic growth and illegal hunting and it is for these reasons why active protection is still in place.

The aim of the project was to obtain demographic data on the population of the Eurasian otter in the Czech Republic, which will serve as a basis for quantitative models of population viability. These data and models have helped us understand how the population functions, showed us where there are risks to the population and how large they are and even allowed us to work out the evolution of the population, in simulated management measures.

The project also included setting up a nationwide collection of dead otters, creating information channels, protocols and a network of cooperating organisations.

Project outputs

Vetrovcova J., Polednikova K., Polednik L., Hajkova P., Zemanova B., Beran V., Hlavac V., Minarikova T. (2009): Viability of Otter Population in the Czech Republic. Poster at the international conference ‘2nd European Congress of Conservation Biology’, Prague.

Polednikova K., Vetrovcova J., Polednik L., Hajkova P., Zemanova B., Beran V., Hlavac V., Minarikova T. (2010): The viability of the European otter population in the Czech Republic. Poster at the conference ‘Use of research and monitoring for conservation management’, Olomouc.

Polednikova K., Polednik L., Hlavac V., Mastera J., Minarikova T., Rešl D., Tomaskova L., Sima J., Toman A., Pacovska M., ., Beran V., Kadlečíková Z., Růžičková O., Hájková P. (2010): Methodology for Determining the Compensation for Damage Caused by Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra). Certified methodology by Ministry of the Environment.

Poledník L. (2010): Mapping deaths of Eurasian otter in the Czech Republic. Specialised map with professional content.

Poledníková K., Větrovcová J., Poledník L., Hlaváč V. (2010): Carbofuran - a new and effective method of illegally killing otters (Lutra lutra) in the Czech Republic. IUCN Otter Specialist Group Bulletin 27: 137-146.

Poledník L., Poledníková K. (2010): Current Estimated Density of Eurasian Otter Populations in the Czech Republic. Specialised map with professional content.

Poledník L., Poledníková K. (2011): Population viability model for Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) in the Czech Republic. Lecture at ‘Otter Colloquium International Conference’, Italy.

Poledník L. Poledníková K., Větrovcová J., Hlaváč V., Beran V. (2011): Causes of deaths of Lutra lutra in the Czech Republic (Carnivora: Mustelidae). Lynx, n.s. (Praha) 42: 145-157.

Poledník L., Poledníková K., Hlaváč V. (2012): Winter census of Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) in selected areas of the Czech Republic in years 2008 - 2012. Bulletin Vydra 15: 29-38.

Polednik L., Polednikova K., Hajkova P. (2012): The use of genetic data in the conservation of Eurasian otter. Lecture at the conference ‘Possibilities and limits of using genetic data in practical conservation’, Zvolen.

Poledníková K., Poledník L. (2012): The state, development and viability of the Eurasian otter population in the Czech Republic. Lecture at the Zoological Days, Brno.

Poledník L., Poledníková K., Větrovcová J., Hlaváč V. (2012): Intentional poisoning of piscivorous species and other wildlife with carbofuran in the Czech Republic. Chapter in Carbofuran and Wildlife Poisoning. Global Perspectives and Forensic Approaches.

Poledníková K. Poledník L., Kranz A., Beran V., Čamlík G. (2013): River otter in Dačice.