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OttersEcology, behaviour and conservation$
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Hans Kruuk

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780198565871

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198565871.001.0001

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Resources: about fish and other prey

Resources: about fish and other prey

(p.120) Chapter 8 Resources: about fish and other prey

Hans Kruuk

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes the methodology for sampling fish populations, biomass, and productivity. It presents details of the effects of otters on prey populations. Eurasian otter numbers in Scottish streams consume 68% of the productivity (mostly salmonid fish), and are an important factor in the ecosystem. Recent declines in coastal fish in Shetland, in salmonid fish and eels in freshwater systems, are followed by a reduction in numbers of Eurasian otters; similarly, declines in frog numbers are likely to affect otters elsewhere. The introduction of potential prey such as crayfish is benefiting species in Europe and Africa. Sea otters, through predation on sea urchins, have a dominant effect on kelp ecosystems, and in places, deplete commercially important clams.

Keywords:   fish populations, sampling methodology, productivity, ecosystems, declines

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