Beavers are the most amazing animals, capable of transforming our rivers and wetlands for the better. They are known as a keystone species – a species that plays a critical role in creating thriving ecosystems from which a wealth of wildlife benefits.
The Devon Wildlife Trust’s work on the River Otter Beaver Trial, and the work of The Wildlife Trusts elsewhere, has shown that these natural engineers can provide an impressive range of services from storing climate-changing carbon to flood alleviation. The DWT believe a top priority for nature’s recovery is to see the beaver’s return to rivers across the UK. After an absence of about 400 years, we are delighted to hear that beavers are back!
Keen to spot Beavers on your trip to Devon?
Beaver’s are now confirmed on three river systems in Devon – the Otter, the Tamar and the Taw.
Beavers are charismatic animals and are not that difficult to see, if you spend enough time by the river in the right areas. They are nocturnal for much of the year, but during the lighter evenings they can be seen during daylight hours, especially from late afternoon to early evening, and – for early risers – soon after dawn.
Top tip: We would recommend taking a pair of binoculars with you if possible – as well as beavers, you might spot an otter or some of the resident birds on the rivers: kingfishers, dippers and grey wagtails.
Did you know? Beavers can swim at speeds of up to five miles per hour and hold their breath for up to 15 minutes. They even have a pair of swimming goggles – extra eyelids (called nictitating membranes) that are transparent, which they can close when they’re underwater!
For more information use The Devon Wildlife Trust’s website – https://www.devonwildlifetrust.org/