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Plan to Save Otters is Animal Magic

The otter is returning to urban areas across Britain after a marathon conservation effort which has saved the species from extinction. In recent years, environmentalists were worried that the little animal would disappear from Britain's waters completely. But by following European guidelines to ban some pesticides and improve the quality of river water, the species has made almost a full recovery. Until the 1950s, the otter was still common and widespread in most parts of Britain and especially here in Scotland. From about 1957, however, it suffered an alarming decline because of farm pollution and habitat loss. By the late 1970s, otters were almost extinct across England, parts of Wales and central Scotland. After the recent habitat restoration work, however, most environmentalists believe that numbers will be restored to pre-1960 levels by 2010. Technology has also played a part in the conservation of the otter. In Winchester, Hampshire, a camera set up to monitor water levels took a picture of a tiny whiskered face. Until that point, conservationists did not know otters existed on the river. In a similar project, micro cameras are being set up on the islands underneath the Skye Bridge. They will take video pictures which will be beamed live on to the Internet. These fabulous new advances mean that people in urban areas all over the world, who do not have access to the countryside, can learn about all kinds of wildlife.