Hello and welcome to the Beaver Blog! Here you will find regular updates on the two beavers involved in Devon Wildlife Trust’s Devon Beaver Project and the effects they are having on their habitat, as well as interesting facts about the history of beavers and their behaviour.
Firstly, a bit of background… The Devon Beaver Project is an experiment to assess how beavers impact upon the wildlife and water quality of their habitat and to see whether they could be used as a habitat management tool in the future. DWT has introduced a pair of European beavers into a fully enclosed piece of land in the headwaters of the Tamar catchment. The site has an area of 2.8 Ha, securely contained by a 900m fence which is inspected daily by the landowner.
Before the beavers arrived, there was a small watercourse running through the wet woodland site, with no defined channel. The only other water feature was an artificially created ‘starter pond’ with a purpose-built lodge for their new home – any further engineering was left for the beavers to do!
Upon their arrival in March 2011, the beavers got straight to work re-modelling their lodge and wider surroundings. They began by constructing dams and small ‘canals’ to enable them to move around their enclosure without leaving the safety of the water. Within a very short space of time, the handiwork of these natural engineers was plain to see. They have now created a mosaic of ponds, streams and waterlogged areas – one of the results being an increase in frogspawn from ten clumps in 2011 to 260 clumps in 2012!
Check out the video below on the day the beavers were introduced to their enclosure. After a few hours in the lodge they came out to explore their new surroundings and make themselves at home.
Thanks for visiting the Beaver Blog and come back soon for more updates.
Did you know? – British beavers were hunted to extinction for their meat, pelts and scent glands.
The Beaver Project is funded by Viridor Credits Environmental Company and The Truell Charitable Foundation.
Find out more at www.devonwildlifetrust.org/devon-beaver-project
Watch more videos on DWT’s youtube channel