Beaver Population Saved by Scottish Government
Last month the Scottish Government announced that the Eurasian Beaver is to be formally recognised as a native species, 300-400 years after being hunted to extinction. This means that the established population of wild beavers in the River Tay and Earn is now a protected species.
According to the Scottish Wildlife Trust, beavers are natural engineers. Beavers modify their habitats and landscapes, creating more diverse woodlands by naturally coppicing trees (which will regenerate) and damming. This can change how the local environment looks but the modifications can have a positive effect on biodiversity.
Beavers create new ponds and wetlands and restore native woodland. This improves conditions for many species such as otters, water voles, dragonflies, and fish and helps to regulate flooding. Beavers are a ‘keystone species’ that is, one which affects the survival and abundance of other wildlife in its habitat.
As well as naturally creating and maintaining diverse habitats, beavers attract my favourite bird: the kingfisher!
Conservationists suggest that the presence of the beavers is expected to boost wildlife tourism in Scotland, adding to the rural economy.