06:00 Friday 17 January 2014

Calls for reflectors to protect otters on Queen Adelaide Way

Written byJORDAN DAY

A young otter has been found dead on the side of a road - sparking fresh calls for the route to be made safer for wildlife.

Conservationists have been calling for Queen Adelaide Way - the road between Queen Adelaide and Station Road, Ely - to be more otter friendly for years.

The busy stretch of road is a particularly troublesome spot for otters as they cross it from the settling ponds to the River Great Ouse.

The young otter, pictured, was found by a member of the Ely Wildspace group last week and is just one of around a dozen of the aquatic creatures to be killed on the road recently.

Cliff Carson, a local conservationist involved in otter and waterway wildlife management, says special warning reflectors can be fitted on roads which reflect the lights of vehicles towards the water to prevent animals, such as otters, from crossing when traffic is approaching.

He has been calling for Cambridgeshire County Council Highways to invest in the reflectors in Queen Adelaide Way for some time.

Mr Carson said: “It’s tragic that another otter has been killed in Queen Adelaide Way.

“The road is one of the most well-known black spots for otter deaths in the East of England and something needs to be done.

“Otters are under so much pressure from other quarters as it is - we need to do everything we can to protect them.

“I believe the reflectors would really help as they are used successfully elsewhere with deer.

“Obviously it would help if drivers slowed down along Queen Adelaide Way but the reflectors would reduce the number of otters coming onto the road in the first place.”

A county council spokesman said warning signs alerting motorists to wildlife crossing were in place in Queen Adelaide Way.

He added: “We are working with the Environment Agency, Wildlife Trust and other parties to consider what further measures could be taken.”

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