Engineer beavers: Animal-created dams help fight drought in England | biodiversity

Experts say the areas occupied by these animals are becoming more resilient to climate change, with water cooling the land and air during dry periods. In addition, dams also contribute to the prevention of flooding in periods of time.

In the 16th century, beavers were hunted to near extinction in Britain for their meat and fur, but after a while they were reintroduced to some of their natural habitats.

In the beautiful region of Holnicote, on the west of the island, two pairs of beavers were released in 2020. And according to Ben Eardley, manager of this project, the Aller River – which faces a severe drought in 2022 – would just be “a big puddle of mud. ” if it weren’t for them. At another point, flowing water channels created by a couple of beavers brought many amphibians and dragonflies back to the Minehead region.

“The multiple dam complexes created over the past two years have helped slow the flow of water through the catchment, creating ponds and new canals to retain more water in the landscape,” he told The Times.

Beavers build small dams using branches and logs to have a place of protection and also easy access to plants, leaves and bark to eat. Over time, these locations create a living ecosystem that attracts other animals such as birds, frogs, insects and bats. In addition, during periods of drought, the water attracts large mammals such as deer, pigs and cows in search of hydration.

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