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Beavers Breath Easy

Devon beaver family to remain!

The Mammal Society welcomes the return of the beaver to the UK and the decision by Natural England to allow beavers to remain on the River Otter in Devon, where they will be monitored by the Devon Wildlife Trust.Dr Fiona Mathews, Chair of The Mammal Society’s Scientific Advisory Committee said, ‘there are likely to be significant benefits to biodiversity, as well as contributions to reduced flood risk and improved water quality in river systems. Beavers are also likely to prove an important ecotourism attraction as they are relatively easy to see.’ To ensure the long-term success of the project, and to avoid risks to human and animal health from the accidental introduction of parasites, it is vital that this population is monitored closely. We are pleased that appropriate monitoring schemes are now in place, and emphasise that illegal releases potentially damage the interests of wildlife conservation, health, and the welfare of the animals themselves.Across Europe there is now a wealth of experience of developing modern and sustainable strategies that permit beavers to co-exist with humans. We urge all parties to draw on this experience to ensure the successful return of beavers to the UK.The Mammal Society has just published a beaver booklet with full information on this charming but elusive animal which is available from the Natural History Book Shop.

Mammal society

28th January 2015