Roadside reflectors in Pennygown, Mull

Roadside reflectors in Pennygown, Mull

Special traffic lights for otters have been installed on a Scottish island to help them cross the road more safely.

66 of the animals have died on the Isle of Mull in the past four years and now members of an otter enthusiast group have installed special safety lights to help protect them.

According to the Herald, members of the Mull Otter Group have installed special roadside reflectors, which cost £525 each, and illuminate the verges when headlights approach.

The idea is otters will quickly learn not to cross the road with the verge lights up – similar to a red traffic light.

Jane Stevens, chairwoman of Mull Otter Group, said: “Very few are using culverts so that is why we are putting these reflectors in at hotspots, where we have had several deaths.”

Now at the end its fourth year, a five-year study is investigating the cause of death of otters on Mull. The bodies of the dead animals are being transported to Cardiff University for post-mortem tests.

Ms Stevens said: “Otters are of massive importance to the island’s economy and the study is absolutely crucial for us, because we have never had any idea of the numbers on Mull.

“We know that at least 26 otters were found dead last year, but these were just the otters found and reported to Mull Otter Group. This year 14 have been found dead.”