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Not all good news for the beaver

Created on 30/03/2011 @ 14:36

Beavers are set to be returned to the Montgomeryshire countryside for
the first time in 900 years, but not everyone is happy.

The furry water dwelling animals were hunted to the point of
extinction in Wales and have been blamed for widespread flooding of
late in central Europe due to the dam building in rivers and streams.

But wildlife experts are confident the animals will make a welcome
return to our waters with an initial return up stream in Machynlleth
before they could come closer to home.

Bernard Llewellyn, NFU Cymru’s Rural Affairs Board Chairman said: “We
have been informed that beavers lived in Wales in the 12th century and
then became extinct.  How can we know that these re-introduced animals
have any ancestral link to the 12th century beavers? Their habits
could be totally different in habitats that are also very different.”

Wildlife experts say the beavers will be re-introduced in a controlled
area which will ensure they cannot escape with observation platforms
created to monitor their habits before the experiment is expanded

But the NFU Cymru says it is aware of a recent experience in Scotland
where beavers escaped their enclosure, travelled long distances and
caused significant damage to trees.

Mr Llewellyn added: “We’ve been informed these beavers are masters at
evading capture. Apparently individuals there are opposing any cull of
these escaped animals regardless of any damage they are doing to
native plants and animals.”

NFU Cymru is calling on the Welsh Assembly Government, and the
Countryside Council for Wales (the government’s conservation advisers)
to keep a very close eye on the project.