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Essex Field Club
Essex Field Club
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The weblog below is for naturalists to use to report interesting sightings, ask questions, report on field meetings and generally post pictures and any information or questions generally relevant in some way to the wildlife and geology of Essex. You will need to register and be logged-on to post to the forum, and you need to upload pictures first, for use in posts. Find out more


Wed 21st December 2011 00:05 by Michael Daniels
Success for conservation, or is it?
I suspect that most EFC people dedicated to preserving our flora and fauna, will welcome the news that the otter is successfully re-establishing itself in habitats it once occupied across the country before various factors lead to its serious decline. 

But is that news all good I wonder.

Near us in Holland-on-Sea we have a watercourse, its known as Holland Brook and it is just that, nothing approaching what could be described as a river.  Nevertheless, it does contain a reasonable head of fish, the usual species and anglers appear to find it worthy of their attention.  Just been reported that an otter has made its appearance.  We all understand that the otter is a very efficient predator, particularly feasting on fish, crustacea and mollusca. I just wonder just how long it will take this mammal to clear out this local faunal population.  Also I hear another piece of disturbing news that someone has lost their Koy Carp from their garden pond....'Tarka' the suspected raider and hardly surprising if this intelligent animal is the culprit.

After the recent meeting at the Wat Tyler Centre, journeying back to Tendring on the A12, we got into a tail back that we understand was due to an accident.  Diverted through Kelvedon and Coggeshall, this seriously delayed us getting back to Thorpe where David our driver resides.  He keeps chickens and after our departure for Clacton, he soon became aware of commotion in his garden.  It was quickly apparent what had occurred, Mr. Fox had got amongst his fowls and managed to kill fifteen of his hens, all just coming into lay.  Home on time he would have been able secure his free range birds for the night, but ill luck for him rather spoilt his pleasure, and ours too when informed, of that successful special club event.

Not surprising the fox has gained a very bad reputation amongst farmers and poultry-keepers. My concern is that not too far in the furture the otter will all attract similar bad feelings.  That's where conservation can produce side effects that could hardly be universally applauded.

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