OTTER SPOTTER ETIQUETTE, SAFETY & ESSENTIAL FIELD GEAR
- Avoid approaching and don't harass otters if you encounter them. If otters are comfortable around you, they'll ignore you! If they're uncomfortable, they will stop doing what they're doing and move away. Otters will bite if threatened or attacked. If otters change their behavior, you're too close.
- Be aware of your surroundings and don't stray onto private property without permission. Respect all posted signs.
- Tread Lightly!! When approaching a site that might contain tracks or scat, or be a sensitive area, approach it like an ecological detective. Walk softly, don't trample the area or the otter clues. Take photographs and notes instead of collecting or disturbing resources. Don't ever collect any live animal - trapping or relocating wildlife is illegal in California! If you are able to collect scat in a baggie, wear gloves/avoid skin/eye/mouth contact with the scat/and wash your hands thoroughly at the first opportunity. Contact us immediately so we can pick up the sample for analysis.
- Don't collect any resources (e.g. scat) from protected lands such as National Parks, State Parks etc, this usually requires permits. Instead photograph and avoid disturbing the resource and notify us.
- Always be conscious of your safety, don't get yourself into dangerous situations (especially when in the water or on the shoreline).
Essential Field Gear (assuming you're out hiking/boating and you have all the rest).
- Camera w/ zoom lens (if possible)
- GPS (if possible)
- Baggies for storing scat you collect, washable or throw-away exam gloves.
- Notebook for recording your observations.