Do Otters Occasionally Visit Israel’s Coastal Plain Academic Article uri icon


  • Abstract: Signs of otters have been found on three occasions in recent years-in 1986, 2000 and 2006. This probably indicates sporadic transient otters from the Lebanese coast, and may represent an important source of genetic variability for the largely isolated Israeli otter population. Up until the middle of the 20th century, Eurasian otters (Lutra lutra) were abundant in Israel in all coastal rivers extending from the Lebanese border to the Tel-Aviv region, as well as along the Jordan River from its source to the Dead Sea. Only these two water systems, the Jordan River basin in the East and the coastal plain in the West, can support otters. A connecting corridor between these regions exists in the Harod valley and the Yizrael Valley. However, during the 1960s the otter population underwent a dramatic decline due to illegal hunting, water pollution, and the drainage of water sources …

publication date

  • January 1, 2006