Beaver Families Win Legal Battle To Keep Their River Home
Fifteen beaver families residing on the River Otter in Devon, UK, have been granted the legal “right to remain” after they were threatened with removal.
The Devon Wildlife Trust (DWT) began investigating the impact of the beavers on the environment five years ago, after the mammals — which were previously extinct in the UK — appeared without explanation.
It has been suggested that animal activists may have secretly released the beavers into the area, with as many as 50 of them living there now.
The investigation highlighted that the natural activity of beavers enhances the ecology of areas in which they inhabit — a fact that influenced the decision to allow them to stay.
“The Most Ground-Breaking Government Decision”
“This is the most ground-breaking government decision for England’s wildlife for a generation,” said Peter Burgess, DWT Director of Conservation.
“Beavers are nature’s engineers and have the unrivalled ability to breathe new life into our rivers.”
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This is the first time that the UK government has supported the reintroduction of an extinct native mammal.
The UK Environment Minister Rebecca Pow believes that the beavers should be thought of as a “public good,” and that they could prove valuable to farmers and landowners.
Pow added that the DWT study, “was so important because it is informing how we think in the future.”
Beavers were wiped out of the UK around 400 years ago, due to being excessively hunted by humans.
What do you think about British beavers coming back from extinction? Let us know in the comments below!
Tags: beaver, beavers, conservation, Devon, environment, River Otter, The Devon Wildlife Trust