Beavers could be reintroduced to Wales...

Cliff Hatton

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http://www.fishingmagic.com/news_ev...roduced-to-wales-after-centuries-absence.html

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Beavers could return to Wales for the first time in hundreds of years, after being successfully reintroduced in other parts of the UK.*Wildlife experts are submitting a licence application to release 10 beavers in the south of the country and hope the reintroduction could begin this year. The Scottish government recently decided to list beavers as a protected species after a successful trial reintroduced the animals into the wild and a pair were also released on the Otter river in Devon in May.

The animals were hunted to extinction in Britain in the 16th century, but the five-year Scottish beaver trial established a group in Knapdale Forest in Argyll. Another population emerged on the Tay river following illegal releases a decade ago.

"In England, beaver numbers on the Otter have increased, with two established pairs producing offspring, or kits. One female produced five kits, well above the average of three" the programme’s manager, Mark Elliot, said. "A new male and female released on the Otter in May to increase the genetic diversity of England’s only wild beaver population have also settled in well"

Beavers have been living wild on the Otter for up to a decade, but are now part of an official five-year trial by Devon Wildlife Trust. “They have been very visible, people have been able to watch them. We’ve had a lot of people down here beaver watching in the summer,” Elliott said, “and that’s been benefiting the local pubs and B&Bs, and people are talking about ‘beaver tourism’, which is really encouraging”

Alicia Leow-Dyke, the Welsh beaver project officer for the Wildlife Trusts Wales, said there would now be a public consultation.
A first application was made to Natural Resources Wales a year ago. If the application is not opposed, the project hopes to start releasing animals in 2017.
Leow-Dyke said: “The evidence coming from Britain and Europe is they can be beneficial for ecology, helping with reducing flooding and filtering water, and have important consequences for the landscape. The beavers could help with habitat restoration, bringing light into overgrown areas and allowing other nature to thrive"

“With the beaver you’re not looking at a single species. It can have such a wider benefit helping the ecosystem. Because we’ve had such a detrimental effect on the landscape for so long, this can help,” she said.

Farmers and anglers have argued that beavers damage the landscape and affect fish migration, and have called for conservation efforts to be focused on the UK’s existing wildlife.

Leow-Dyke said there was evidence from Europe that beavers’ negative impacts could be managed and the scheme would have a net benefit. The enjoyment factor of seeing the creatures in the wild and easy-to-spot field signs of their presence could be used to encourage children to explore the natural world.

Liz Halliwell, a mammal ecologist at Natural Resources Wales, said beavers were once part of the country’s native wildlife and could create rich and varied habitats that made the environment stronger and healthier. But she added: “Our assessment of any application for a licence would need to carefully consider the effects of a reintroduction on existing wildlife and land use.”
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tigger

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Beavers would improve fishing massively! They dam up streams etc creating new habitat for fish, birds amphibions etc etc. It would take a lot of 'em and several or more lifetimes but they'd most likely lessen the damage done by flooding!
 

robertroach

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Can't make up my mind whether they are good or bad overall.

On the one hand they dam up streams holding floodwater back but on the other hand they clog up the systems preventing fish migration, silt up the streams and reduce the tree population. I am happy to ignore the argument that they will encourage a new generation of wildlife lovers.

I am waiting to be convinced either way.
 

S-Kippy

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Broadly speaking I don't have a particular issue with the re-introduction of an indigenous species provided its done in a controlled/sensible way. My concern is that whatever it is doesn't get out of hand.The odd pair of beavers doesn't seem much of a threat now but if they do well and cause problems/get out of hand is anybody bold enough to say "enough" and cull them.I suspect not....and therein lies the problem.

I'd like to see the lynx re-introduced....just a few and in the right place but for no better reason that I think they are magnificent and aren't doing too good elsewhere. Wolves and bear is a bridge too far.

Bottom line I suppose is why anybody is doing this ? What's the point and is it worth it ? I'm not persuaded either way yet.
 

thecrow

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Bottom line I suppose is why anybody is doing this ? What's the point and is it worth it ? I'm not persuaded either way yet.

I suspect its another case of "because we can" if one looks at the cost of the trial in scotland the Scottish Wildlife Trust says its around £2 million half of which came in the form of a Biffa Award (I only know Biffa as a company that recycles rubbish).

Interestingly 32% of that money went on staff and equipment while 31% went on monitoring which I find very strange as staff that would have done the monitoring with equipment ( cameras, hides etc) have already been accounted for in staff and equipment, maybe its the money that's involved that is one of the drivers for these reintroductions as it is with other "projects"
 

markg

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If they became extinct in the 16th century; are they indigenous? And who deemed they are suitable for 21st century Britain? A lots changed in 500 years. And introducing a "new" species has a lot of long term affect on the native flora and fauna which is often unforeseen at the time. They are prolific breeders and I foresee them becoming a pest with some bad affects on other wildlife and some of our native plant-life long after the present day nature lovers/introduces are gone. Its a purely selfish thoughtless act of interfering to me just so a few people can satisfy their god complex and go Ah isn't that lovely. This will only last for a while as a novelty, once it becomes a common sight they will get bored and want to introduce/interfere with something else..Shortsighted halfwits.
It might change the ecology of some rivers that might suit some species but it wont suit others, nature will balance it out whatever.
 
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greenie62

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Why did they become extinct in the first place - 500 yrs ago?
They weren't hunted for meat - and royal hunting reserves stopped most of the 'sporting' hunts.
Maybe the environment was inimical? So what's changed now that makes it suitable?
 

tigger

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Why did they become extinct in the first place - 500 yrs ago?
They weren't hunted for meat - and royal hunting reserves stopped most of the 'sporting' hunts.
Maybe the environment was inimical? So what's changed now that makes it suitable?

They where hunted to extinction for their meat and fur. They very nearly went the same way in the USA where they are still trapped and hunted for their meat and skins today....as are bears, wolves, wolverines etc etc.....effin disgrace in this day when we have domestic animals to eat.

I reckon a few lions and tigers (pity there's no sabre toothed cats left) could do with being re-introduced and maybe cull a few human scrotes.....there's no effin' shortage of them that's for sure!
Countries overrun with human vermine and there's plenty new ones coming in everyday :eek:mg:.
 

john step

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I recall a couple of sorties into Wales as a young man. I must say I had no trouble contacting beaver there:wh:wh
 

tigger

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Did you find the fur a little prickly, it made me itch for some time after....they where quite slimey to touch and had a musty odor to 'em n'all LOL.
 

S-Kippy

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I visit Wales fairly regularly and one thing that's always struck me is the lack of any animals other than sheep and the odd fox. Scooting about after dark like you do when sea trouting I'd expect to see the odd thing but bar otters on the river in over 12 years all I've ever seen is one solitary badger. No rabbits, nowt.

I've always thought that a bit odd. What's it got to do with beavers ? Nothing really....Other than there would seem to be plenty of room for a couple.

Funny old place Wales. Beautiful... but there's nobody there !
 

tigger

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Funny old place Wales. Beautiful... but there's nobody there !

Oh they're there Skippy.....have you never watched "The Hills Have Eyes" :eek:mg:.

I lived on Anglesey for a few years (propper out in the sticks) and they do come out once they get used to you being there.....just don't stray off the path ffs :eek::eek:
 

macko

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bit partial to a bit of beaver myself:wh:)
 

markg

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Wherever these Beavers start setting up colonies I bet angling will be banned within thousands yards of them while they establish themselves. I have seen this done with otters on rivers in Devon by the Devon wildlife trust; miles of river with angling banned just in the hope they might colonise. It will probably be done with other such organizations throughout the country for Beavers; any excuse to ban angling, well; ban anything really.

Came across this while researching something else-
The UK is obliged under EU legislation (Habitats Directive 1992) to reintroduce species where it is considered feasible.

I was researching the Great Bustard introduction on Salisbury Plain in fact, after many years of the birds flying back to Russia where they came from, infertile eggs being laid, poor survival rate, birds dying; they still don't understand that just maybe these birds are not happy there but they are not giving up, they never do! of course Chris Packham is all over it like a rash.
The thing is animals, even though they are the same species; would have evolved differently in whatever environment they are in and they will not necessarily suit a different one even if they are minor factors. Beavers evolved in Norway may not be happy in a British climate and environment; they may well survive but is it under pressure and stress; is there an element of cruelty in it? We force them where we want them, not where they want.
I just think this needs a good thinking about which I don't think happens in reality. Its always done under the claim-they lived here once until man wiped them out so by default they will be happy here again. I just don't think that is a given truth.
 
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Peter Jacobs

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The Great Bustard reintroduction project has been a success. I live very close to the society's reservation and can say that they are thriving there and this year have reproduced well.

The birds are also quite free to fly off anywhere they chose and yet have remained in this area for several years now.

Bustard Breakthrough | The Great Bustard Group
 
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thecrow

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Wherever these Beavers start setting up colonies I bet angling will be banned within thousands yards of them while they establish themselves.

You are almost certainly correct Mark, the NFU have it seems been representing the interests of their members this paragraph is just part of an interesting article by the NFU on beavers in Scotland.



Rob Livesey, NFU Scotland’s Vice President commented: “The Union is adamant that beavers must be appropriately managed to minimise the risk of unacceptable impacts on agriculture and other land uses – a view that is shared by many within the conservation community.
 
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