DWT eager to show first beaver born in West Dorset in 400 years

DWT eager to show first beaver born in West Dorset in 400 years

Beaver 1

A beaver has been born in West Dorset for the first time in more than 400 years.
Trail cameras at a beaver enclosure on Dorset Wildlife Trust land have captured images of the new kit and his mum.
The adorable little kit can be seen exploring the waterlogged woodland created by its parents after they were released in the area in February 2021.
Dorset Wildlife Trust worked with partners from the University of Exeter and Wessex Water to undertake a scientific study to assess all the impacts beavers make on the natural environment, including river flow, water quality and biodiversity.
Since the beavers were introduced to the wildlife trust’s West Dorset site, they have built dams to create a wetland to suit their needs and provide a habitat for other species, such as frogs and newts.
DWT rivers conservation officer Steve Oliver said: “We have been closely monitoring the pair since their release and it has been clear that they have formed a strong bond in the time they have been on site, and this latest discovery is further evidence of this, alongside their industrious dam building activity.
“The trail cams have only identified one kit so far, but beavers can typically have one to four kits in a litter, and we are discreetly observing their activity to see if any others have been born.”
He added: “Seeing the first kit is an incredibly exciting moment for the project and breeding is a clear indication of normal behaviour and that the adult pair are healthy and happily settled.
“This local project is an enormous step forward on the journey to restore beavers to Dorset, helping us to raise awareness and understanding of what it means to have these influential mammals back in our county.
“Beavers have the potential to make a huge difference to our natural environment and can assist nature’s recovery as well as providing other benefits for humans.”
A wildlife trust spokesman said the Eurasian beaver, once native to Dorset, has the potential to reduce flooding through its construction of dams.
n To find out more about the Dorset Wildlife Trust’s Beaver project, visit dorsetwildlifetrust. org.uk/BeaverProject

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