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Ready or Not, Beavers Are Strangely Returning to Britain

When a species goes extinct, animal or plant, you don’t usually expect it to return. When something goes extinct in an area, that is it. It’s dead, gone, finished off. That was the case for beavers in Britain up until recently. Beavers haven’t been in Britain for nearly 500 years, but for reasons unknown are making their strange return to the area. A local British man made the discover when he noticed that some of the stumps of trees in his area had been worn down to the point where they looked like the tips of pencils. Curious to figure out why this was, Tom Buckley placed a night-vision camera around the trees to see if he could discover why this was. After looking over the footage, Mr. Buckley was startled to see not one, not two, but three beavers in the footage that was taken by his camera.

No one is certain as to just how the beavers made their return to the area. Some people believe the critters accidentally escaped a nature reserve and found their way into their natural environment. While this is the most pleasing reason to believe, more people are in the mindset that these beavers were intentionally and illegally place in the area. While this is certainly a curious discover, why is this so important? Just because a man found three beavers in Britain, why is this a concern? Beavers build dams, cut down trees and even flood waterways with their normal activities. Humans are the only other species on this planet that changes the environment more than beavers do. That right there is a pretty impressive accomplishment. British officials aren’t too pleased with these statistics though. The rapid introduction of an animal species that is that powerful at altering its environment brings up a bit of concern for how they could affect modern Britain.

The British government is looking to get rid of these animals as soon as they possibly can. Instead of killing them off, the government has said that they are going to relocate said beavers and try to find new homes for them. Thousands of years ago, beavers thrived with the abundance of fish in Britain’s waters. That was thousands of years ago though. Mark Owen is part of Angling Trust, an organization which supports the interests of anglers in England. When talking about this issue Own said that “The majority of our rivers have been impacted by man, either by dredging, straightening, or widening. We also presumably, at that point, had very good and high fish stocks. Now we don’t.”

The debate of whether to remove the beavers and let them continue to live in the area has been a big area of conversation in Britain since Buckley’s discovery. Buckley and other lovers of the beaver are trying to rally support with other people in Britain to help keep the beaver right where it is. Whether or not the government will listen is yet to be determined.

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