Did you know that beavers are beneficial to the wildlife population? Prof Richard and his team from the Brazier of the University of Exeter have studied wild animals in Devon for 5 years and have discovered several interesting facts. Beavers are capable of reducing pollution, boosting the fish population, and cutting down flooding. The revelation has made the government question if beavers should be allowed to enter England as they had been extinct there due to hunting.
The beavers found on the River Otter has risen from a pair that had escaped from captivity and were found again in 2013. The population has increased to around 8 pairs currently. Initially, it was debated if the beavers should be left alone or if they should be exterminated. The Devon Wildlife Trust raised funds and the scientific study was conducted. What did the beaver family do? They built dams near East Budleigh, a village that is prone to floods. This resulted in the slow flow of the floodwater thereby preventing peak flows. The number of pollutants, like manure and fertilizers, in the water was reduced considerably. The beavers created new wetlands and ushered a host of riverine birds. Moreover, the fish population increased by a whopping 37%. The only disadvantage was that the dams could possibly flood the farmlands and uproot trees nearby. The damage is not devastating when compared to the benefit and was managed by the authorities. The “beaver deceivers” installed by the Clinton Devon Estates helped to take water away from the beaver dam if there was a need for it.
Mark Elliott, from the Devon Wildlife Trust, was pleasantly surprised when he saw the impact of the beavers on the wetland ecosystem. It will be beneficial for England in case they decide to bring back the beavers as the small farmlands would not have to incur big financial losses owing to floods. The government has taken a bunch of initiatives to help the wild beavers thrive in large fenced land areas. Elliott added that the wild beavers should not be fenced for prolonged periods of time. The Devon trial has been extended by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs after which t Mike Symes/Devon Wildlife Trhe big decision shall be taken. If the beavers are recognized as a native species again, England shall benefit.
Featured image:Martin Steiner