The Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra) has the widest distribution of all 13 otter species but the actual worldwide status is very uncertain. It disappeared in many parts of Europe largely due to pollution but with considerable effort to improve environmental conditions they are starting to return in some areas. However, the rate of this return is largely exaggerated which creates problems with fisheries. In vast parts of its range in Asia and North Africa there is very little data and few modern records. It is therefore important to continue conservation efforts, increase public awareness and research to obtain up-to-date information on the true status.