July 19, 2024

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In England, the Eurasian Beaver is currently officially protected

The capture, killing, injury, or disturbance of Eurasian beavers is prohibited in England as a result of their recognition as a protected species.

The action restricts the options previously open to “control” beavers.

For instance, landowners won’t be permitted to harm a dam or burrow without a licence from Natural England.

Wildlife organisations applauded the decision, stating that beaver dams protect the ecosystem by keeping water clean and reducing the likelihood of flooding and drought.

According to Sandra King, chief executive of Beaver Trust, “Beavers provide such an astounding array of ecosystem services to our landscape, this truly is a historic day for the species in England.”

The National Farmers’ Union has previously opposed beavers being designated as a protected species, claiming that their dams could put agricultural areas at risk of floods.

In response to the legislative change, it stated that “many farmers would be understandably concerned about the possible impact of beavers on their land and will be asking for adequate tools and support to manage a species that could harm their company and food production.”

According to the 2017 Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations, beavers are now a protected species in Europe.

These safeguards apply to all threatened, vulnerable, uncommon, or otherwise at-risk species in Europe. Other protected species from Europe that can be found in the UK are bats, the Large Blue Butterfly, Sand Lizards, and Natterjack Toads.

In numerous locations throughout Britain, Eurasian beavers that were formerly common but were hunted to extinction 400 years ago have been reintroduced.

The Scottish Beaver Trial, the first authorised animal reintroduction programme in the UK, saw the release of wild beavers in Scotland in 2009. Later, in 2019, Scotland granted beavers protected status.

The Wildlife Trusts, who have been in charge of coordinating beaver releases throughout the UK, welcomed the announcement but demanded more details on how beaver reintroductions will be made possible.

The NFU declared that it would keep an eye on the practical effects of future policy changes, reintroductions, and current beaver numbers.