Celebrations as River Otter beaver numbers grow

PUBLISHED: 10:50 21 November 2017 | UPDATED: 10:50 21 November 2017

Female adult beaver with her kits, taken near Otterton. Credit: Mike Symes.

Female adult beaver with her kits, taken near Otterton. Credit: Mike Symes.

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The River Otter's 'thriving' beaver population has grown by 300 per cent since 2015 with six family groups now living around its waters.

The Devon Wildlife Trust [DWT] says the reintroduction project is going from ‘strength to strength’ and estimates there are 27 animals living along the river, rising from nine when it launched its beaver trial two years ago.

DWT’s Stephen Hussey said: “The beavers are doing well, they are not fast breeders and each pairing will have one litter a year and usually two or four kits.

“It is suggesting there is a lot of room for the beavers and we are a long way from beaver maximum numbers on the river, what is happening is the beavers are spreading along to different territories.”

The charity is now halfway through its project after it was granted a five year licence to study the creature to 2020.

The trial is led in partnership with landowners Clinton Devon Estates and also working with Exeter University, who is co-ordinating research into the impacts the beavers have on the local environment.

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