A Eurasian beaver on the shore of a pond dragging a plant towards the water. rterra/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
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Originally from England, Wales and Scotland, the Eurasian beaver was hunted to extinction in the 16th century, according to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. But they have slowly returned to England and conservationists say they have now been reintroduced to Nene Wetlands Nature Reserve in Northamptonshire, England, for the first time in 400 years.
“It is an exciting and unique opportunity to see this iconic species return to the Nene Valley, bringing back both its natural habitat restoration skills and providing visitors with the opportunity to see beavers in the wild. in our most visited reserve,” said Matt JohnsonWildlife Trust in Northamptonshire conservation manager, in a press release from the Wildlife Trust for Beds, Cambs & Northants.
Conservationists rely on beavers released at Nene to help manage its wetland environment Woodland habitat. They will help restore the reedbeds in a space enclosed by Delta Pit. Their wetland work will benefit a variety of species and provide visitors with the opportunity to view them through the Rushden Lakes Visitor Centre.
“We know that nature is essential for our well-being and for a secure future, and urgent action is needed to combat the decline of nature and biodiversityCrown Estate regional asset manager Mike Thomas said in the press release.
A feasibility study has been successfully completed and a license has been obtained by Natural England for the release of the beavers, which will be reintroduced to the wetlands next winter.
Beavers were not officially recognized as an English native species until October 2022, when they also became a European protected species. Various Wildlife Trusts in England have implemented beaver release programs as they have been found to have a significant positive impact on wetlands as a keystone species.
Known as eco-engineers, the beavers will be able to help suppress willow growth around the edges of the lake at Delta Pit as less site management will be required. Their search for food will also diversify the marginal vegetation. Restructuring by beavers will not only benefit birds, but also other species such as bats and invertebrates.
Beavers only eat plants and love non-native invasive species called Himalayan balsam which can interfere with the growth of native species. wild flowersanother added benefit to having them in the wetland ecosystem.
The release of beavers into the Nene Wetlands will be the first time beavers have been released onto Crown lands.
“These will be the first beavers to be reintroduced to our lands and we look forward to welcoming them to our community,” Thomas said in the press release.