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Dams could prevent beavers lodging in Cairngorms

2022-4-16 16:27| 发布者: hujian| 查看: 6| 评论: 0

摘要: Beavers are believed to be on the fringes of the Cairngorms National ParkBeavers' natural expansion into the UK's largest national park could be prevented by hydro dams and challenging terrain, accord ...

Beavers are believed to be on the fringes of the Cairngorms National Park

Beavers' natural expansion into the UK's largest national park could be prevented by hydro dams and challenging terrain, according to a new study.

The animals are believed to be only on the fringes of the Cairngorms park.

Most of Scotland's beaver populations are found around the Tay and Forth river systems.

Researchers said beavers could naturally reach the national park via rivers and lochs, but added that it was unlikely in the short-term.

Beavers are a native species, but were hunted to extinction in the 16th Century.

Eurasian beavers taken from Norway were released at Knapdale in Argyll in 2009 in a licensed trial.

There have also been illegal releases of the animals in other areas, including Tayside.

It is estimated there are now almost 1,000 beavers across 254 Scottish locations.

The Cairngorm National Park Authority (CNPA) commissioned research into beavers' potential expansion into the park, which covers parts of the Highlands, Moray, Aberdeenshire, Angus and Perthshire.

The study said it might be possible for beavers to arrive via routes such as Loch Laggan, Loch Ericht and Loch Rannoch and the rivers Truim, Tilt, Garry and the headwaters of the Spey and Isla.

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But researchers said natural colonisation was challenged by physical barriers such dams, hydro schemes and difficult terrain.

BeaverIMAGE SOURCE,GETTY IMAGES
Image caption,
The study looked at potential routes for beavers into the national park
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The study also looked at positive and negative impacts of having beavers in the park, which included the animals helping to improve the quality of freshwater habitats and increasing eco-tourism, but also damaging to trees and river banks.

Andy Ford, director of nature and climate change at the CNPA, said: "Beavers are an important keystone species to Scotland and restoration of lost species is something that we have looked at carefully as part of our Cairngorms Nature Action Plan.

"This has become all the more important in light of the joint climate and biodiversity crises we now face.

"The park authority recognises that beavers can play an important ecological role in terms of flood mitigation and habitat creation, whilst also recognising the need for careful management of the species to mitigate impacts on other land uses."


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