For the first time in four centuries, wild beavers in England will remain on the River Otter. Nobody knows for what reason they suddenly ended up on a river in Devon, South West England in 2013. We know now that they had a very positive effect on the ecosystem. This is the first time when this mammal, which was exterminated in England in the 17th century, was reintroduced into the environment.
The first beaver family in 400 years was spotted in the Otter River 7 years ago. At first, the local authorities recognized beavers as pests and decided to catch them, and then transfer them to one of the zoos. Protectors of nature opposed this. It turned out, however, that the appearance of beavers in the ecosystem had a very positive effect on it. The natural regulation of the river’s course made by beavers also reduced the risk of flooding and meant that the nearby houses are no longer periodically washed by the river rising under heavy rainfall.
It was decided that the beavers in the Otter River would remain and also be protected so that they could continue to reproduce and increase in numbers. It is said to be the government’s most groundbreaking decision for English wildlife in generations.