Study: beavers can help improve water quality
- Credit: Archant
New evidence suggests a wild beaver colony living on the River Otter could help to improve the local ecosystem.
Work undertaken by the Devon Wildlife Trust (DWT) examined the impact of beavers - held in captivity - and showed that the creatures are helping to remove sediments from water, therefore improving its quality.
This is an indication that England’s only wild population of beavers – allowed to remain on the River Otter after a landmark ruling - could be having a positive impact on their environment.
The DWT’s Stephen Hussey said: “The evidence we’ve gathered is showing us that beavers are having a beneficial effect helping to remove sediments from water and therefore improving water quality, and creating new habitat for a host of wildlife including amphibians.”
He explained the trust, with the University of Exeter, studied the effects of beavers on water levels and qualities in a small captive colony as part of a project funded by Westland Countryside Stewards.
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The birth of baby beavers – known as kits – on the River Otter in June was met with joy from campaigners and taken as evidence the family is ‘thriving’.
Following a campaign led by conservationists and residents, DWT was granted a license to capture the creatures and test them for disease, before re-releasing them back into the wild for monitoring as part of the Devon Beaver Project.
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To find out more about the project, visit: http://www.devonwildlifetrust.org/devon-beaver-project/