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Beaver  Beaver

Beavers - Photo  Copyright 1983 Gary Bradley
Photo: G. Bradley

UK Safari Tip:
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Latin name: Castor fiber

Size: Approximately 90cms long. The tail is another 35cms long

Distribution: Extinct in the UK, but being re-introduced at enclosed sites.

Food: Bark and shoots of trees. Also eats aquatic vegetation.

Habitat: Lakes, rivers and wooded areas.

Special features: The beaver was heavily hunted for it's pelt, and combined with an increasing loss of habit, became extinct in the U.K. by around the 16th century.

The European beaver can still be found in Russia, Scandinavia and the Rhone and Elbe valleys. There are plans for trial re-introductions of the species back into Scotland.

The beaver is nocturnal, and spends a lot of time in the water. The beavers habit of felling trees to reach the tender shoots at the top makes them unpopular with foresters.

In 2002 a group of nine beavers were re-introduced in England at Ham Fen, Kent. In October 2005 another six European beavers were released on an enclosed site in South Cerney, Gloucestershire. More recently another population was set up at Martin Mere in Lancashire, one in Devon, and there were two releases on private land in Scotland.

Did You Know?
Beavers were known by the native American people as the 'little people' because of the human way in which they stand upright while feeding and grooming.

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Beaver Dam Photo
UK Safari Mammal Section

  2006 G. Bradley. All Rights Reserved