The International Otter Survival Fund Logo

The International Otter Survival Fund was set up in 1993 to protect and help the 13 species of otter worldwide. They support and organize a wide range of very important projects and activities.


The IOSF run courses for people interested in otters and give talks to schools, natural history groups, etc. IOSF’s Team Otter programme is reconnecting children with nature, wildlife and the environment, igniting a passion that will last their whole life. A recent study found that people who have access to nature act in a more sustainable and environmental way compared to those who do not. A lack of knowledge leads to a lack of interest.

There is a dedicated website for children, TEAM OTTER ( and they are developing a network of TEAM OTTER clubs worldwide with clubs already established in Montenegro, Guyana and Bangladesh as well as the UK.

Team Otter Logo

Go Team Otter!!!


The IOSF also provide training in survey techniques. They have carried out training workshops in Asia (Cambodia, Indonesia, Bangladesh, China and Laos). Africa (Tanzania) and South America (Guyana). These are to enable local people to carry out research and education/public awareness campaigns and to combat the otter trade.

Otter Training In Indonesia

Otter Training In Indonesia

Otter Surveys

Survey Training at Nethybridge, Scotland

Otter Training In China

Otter Training In China


The organisation carry out otter surveys and work to reduce otter deaths on the road. They also support otter research worldwide.

Otter Research In Laos

Eurasian otter prints – Laos

Otter Research In Guyana

Setting up camera traps, Guyana


The IOSF are supporting the call for a ban on the use of snares throughout the UK. However, their major campaign is to combat the otter trade in Asia. For every tiger skin found there are at least 10 otter skins. In one haul in Tibet 778 otter skins were ceased. Now there is also a great demand for otters as pets and many cubs (particularly Asian short-clawed otters) are taken from the wild after the mother has been killed. Cubs may also come from captive-breeding facilities but we have no idea how the animals are kept, although we can guess.

Otter pets are particularly popular in SE Asia and Japan where there are a number of otter cafes. People can play and interact with the otters and find them so cute that they want one of their own – just driving up the demand.

The Illegal Otter Pet Trade

© Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand

Otter Hospital

On Skye the International Otter Survival Fund care for injured and orphaned otters. They also provide advice to people caring for these animals worldwide. To date they have cared for over 210 otters in their own sanctuary and helped over 130 animals in 44 countries. They also support various centres in SE Asia caring for otters confiscated from the pet trade.

Feeding And Otter In The Otter Hospital

Otter Feeding In The Otter Hospital

Rescued Otter Pups At The Hospital

Rescued Otter Pups

International Projects

The IOSF support work on many international projects including: African Clawless Otters in Lesotho, Giant and Neotropical Otters in Guyana, Marine Otters in Chile, and Smooth-coated Otters in Nepal.

World Otter Day

World Otter Day is held on the last Wednesday in May each year. The aim is to raise awareness of otters worldwide and to tell people how important they are to the ecosystem and the threats they face. In 2020 people in over 30 countries took part.

World Otter Day Logo

More Information

For more information make sure to go over and visit the official IOSF website at You’ll find loads of useful information about how you can get involved. There are even activities for the kids!

If you’d like to get in touch with the IOSF directly you can email:

The International Otter Survival Fund (IOSF)

The International Otter Survival Fund Video

Here is a short video to tell you a little bit more about the important work the IOSF do.