WILDLIFE enthusiasts will be saddened to learn of an otter fatality oon the A429 Foss Way near Stretton-on-Fosse.
It was run over by a passing vehicle on Thursday.
There is only an estimated 20 or so otters in the whole of Warwickshire so the loss of this animal is a significant blow to the local population.
In the 1950s and 1960s, the UK otter population crashed as a result of poisoning from organochlorine pesticide use. Since these damaging chemicals were banned, the population has slowly recovered over the last few decades.
They have now successfully returned to every county in England. However, despite being widespread, their numbers remain low and they remain a priority species for conservation.
Warwickshire Wildlife Trust is calling for drivers to take extra care whilst driving on the county’s roads to reduce the risk of otter road casualties.
Stephen Trotter, Chief Executive of Warwickshire Wildlife Trust, said: “It’s a great shame that so much wildlife is killed on our roads each year.
“This was a large male otter - probably about three years of age and in prime condition. Otters range over substantial areas and the loss of even one adult can have a major impact on the population.
“Nevertheless, otters have been doing well in recent years so hopefully the population can recover quickly. This is the fifth otter killed on Warwickshire roads in the last couple of years which, ironically, may be a sign that the population is doing well in general.
“Nevertheless, it underlines the message that on dark winter nights, motorists need to take extra care to look out for wild animals on the highway. There are thousands of animals killed each year on our roads including badgers, hedgehogs, deer and birds – it would be great if we could reduce the carnage.”