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  • Beaver born in Dorset for first time in 400 years

     geemong updated 1 month ago 1 Member · 1 Post
  • geemong

    Member
    July 14, 2022 at 5:11 am

    Beaver born in Dorset for first time in 400 years

    A beaver has been born in the wild in Dorset for the first time in 400 years.

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    The kit was captured on camera with its mother in an enclosed site in the west of the county.

    Dorset Wildlife Trust introduced an adult male and adult female into a freshwater habitat in February last year, as part of a project to bring beavers back to Dorset.

    Rivers conservation officer Steve Oliver called it an “incredibly exciting moment”:

    He said: “We have been closely monitoring the pair since their release and it has been clear that they have formed a strong bond in the time they have been on site, and this latest discovery is further evidence of this, alongside their industrious dam building activity.”

    Mr Oliver added: “Breeding is a clear indication of normal behaviour and that the adult pair are healthy and happily settled in their Dorset surroundings.

    “This local project is an enormous step forward on the journey to restore beavers to Dorset, helping us to raise awareness and understanding of what it means to have these influential mammals back in our county.”

    Beavers typically have four kits in a litter, so it is believed there may be others at the site.

    The wetland created by the beavers will also be providing a habitat for species such as frogs and newts.

    The trust said their dams could increase biodiversity, filter and clean water, and even reduce flooding by slowing the rate of water during storms.

    Beavers became extinct in the UK in the 16th century, largely because they were hunted for their fur, meat and the oil in their scent glands.

    The Eurasian beavers were relocated from Scotland under licence from NatureScot, the country’s nature agency.

    The project is part of a scientific study by the University of Exeter and Wessex Water to monitor the impact Europe’s largest rodent has on water quality, flooding and other wildlife.

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