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Animal Behaviour dissertation

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by Phoebe, 1 Mar 2020.

  1. Phoebe

    Phoebe New Member

    1 Mar 2020
    Kent and Southampton
    Hi everyone,
    I'm in 2nd year at uni and I need to propose an idea for my 3rd year project which will serve as 1 of 2 dissertations I have to write. I'm very interested in otters and their behaviours, and I have a conservation park nearby that is home to 2 Eurasian Otters. Ideally it would be great to carry out an observatory project on the pair, but could it be too small a group size? Any thoughts or suggestions on what I could do would be really appreciated. I have also thought about researching into their presence in the wild in Kent too, specifically the south east. Let me know what you think.
    Thank you! Phoebe
  2. FBBird

    FBBird Well-Known Member

    15 Oct 2010
    Dorset, UK
    bear in mind that Eurasian Otters don't naturally live in groups. If you want to look at social behaviour in an otter species, Asian Short-clawed might be a better choice.
  3. Mr. Zootycoon

    Mr. Zootycoon Well-Known Member

    3 Jun 2015
    probably in a zoo
    That depends entirely on what your research question is. If you want to say something about otters in general than 2 individuals is a very low sample size. If it's about these otters in particular (e.g. social interactions, enclosure usage, activity patterns, etc.), then it isn't necessarily a problem. It is important to make sure your species and approach match. Eurasian otters are fairly noctural, so without the equipment to record their behaviour at night your results may be unrepresentative, for example.

    You should keep in mind that Zoochat is not a good source for this kind of advice, eventhough there are probably several people active here who are familiar with ethological research. My best advice is to reach out to a professor or chair group at your university. Their suggestions and ideas will probably be much more helpful than replies on a zoo enthusiast forum.
  4. Westcoastperson

    Westcoastperson Well-Known Member

    24 Mar 2020
    -18.529211, -70.249941
    Giant otters are also a great otter species to observe with their social group