We got 3616 pictures and videos of different species and studied the presence and temporal distribution of otter in different locations of the gravel and its surroundings (Fig. 1). The main results of this analysis are:
Although otters have been located in almost all the lagoons, they use far more intensively the Middle lagoon. In future posts, we will told you about the habitat suitability analysis and how it influences otter use of specific lagoons.
During the first month of the study the family otter stayed continuously in the lagoon system, but in the following months, they began to move out of the lagoons to come back each two or three days (Fig.2). This dynamic corresponds with the transition between the small cub phase, when the cubs stay in the best and safest zone of the breeding area, and large cub phase, when cubs start to explore the breeding area surroundings. The fact that otters have selected the lagoon system of the gravel as a breeding area reflect its good state of conservation and the success of its restoration.
Regarding the connectivity of the gravel and its surrounding, we have verified that the otters use the ditch as a communication path between the lagoon system and the Duero River (Fig.3), even otters use the dry ditch (Fig. 4). This finding highlights the importance of maximizing the connectivity of restored gravels and its surrounding, and shows how it can boost restored gravels into regional biodiversity hot-spots sources in anthropic areas.