Otters depend on healthy waterways to survive, so otter population numbers are a key indicator of how a particular water system is doing. A project in the San Francisco Bay Area Bay Area aims to keep a careful eye on river otter ecology.
The otter spotter project encourages citizens to take pictures of otters in their habitats and take down information about how many otters were seen, and what they were doing. The observations are mapped and numbers recorded to give researchers a better idea of the total otter population and health.
Otter enthusiasts who are feeling particularly helpful (and who also have plastic baggies and gloves) can collect otter scat for the project’s dietary analysis research. You can also help recruitment efforts by printing and distributing some downloadable posters.