Beavers mysteriously reintroduced in the UK have now won government protection and a legal “right of abode”,media BGR reported. Beavers used to be an animal native to England, but were hunted to extinction hundreds of years ago. In 2013, the animals reappeared, and a new study proved that they are good for the environment.
More than a dozen beaver families who have settled on a river in Devon, England, have won the support of the government. Local authorities have granted the beaver families legal “residency” on the grounds that they have been studying the impact of the beavers on the local environment and other wildlife for five years, the BBC reported.
Beavers, native to the UK, were widely present in the area before hunting led to their disappearance. They have been extinct for some time, but they have recently been reintroduced. A legal battle over whether these animals do more harm than good led the government to take action.
The study of the impact of beavers on the surrounding environment was carried out by the Devon Wildlife Trust. For five years, researchers have been looking at beavers, looking at how they alter the rivers they call home. The impact of beavers on the environment has proved to be huge — perhaps not surprising, since the animals were once native to the region.
According to the report, the presence of beavers has had a number of positive effects on the area. Beaver “dams” can be huge and often change the flow of rivers, which are actually a boon to humans because they can significantly reduce flooding. In addition, beavers actually improve water quality by eating aquatic plants. This, in turn, has contributed to the growth of fish stocks, which means that other wild animals, such as otters, have more opportunities to hunt.
What’s particularly interesting is that no one knows where these beavers came from. Beavers had been extinct in the UK for hundreds of years before they were discovered in 2013. It is thought that they may have been introduced by wildlife activists. After the discovery of wild beavers, locals questioned whether they should be wiped out again, as the mammals have been extinct for centuries. The foundation’s research has succeeded in changing the local government’s view of beavers, which are protected by law, and the more than 50 beavers living in Devon should have a very bright future.