After many months of planning and discussions Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust have been granted a licence to release Eurasian beavers Castor fiber into an enclosure at Cors Dyfi Nature Reserve and on Friday 26th March the beavers finally arrived.
Today, Cors Dyfi is a lowland peat bog – an extremely important habitat in Wales – but the reserve was once used as a conifer plantation. Due to the difficult residual terrain of former forestry ditches and tree stumps, managing areas of the reserve using traditional methods, such as coppicing by hand, is all-but impossible. Over the years, Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust have therefore been considering a range of alternative management options, including water buffalo. In more recent years, beavers – often referred to as ‘ecosystem engineers’ and well known for their amazing ability to manage wetland habitats – have come to the fore as an ideal solution.
Beavers are large, semi-aquatic rodents that live within wetland and river habitats. They are herbivores and feed on a wide range of plant species and through their foraging, burrowing and damming activities, they can restore wetland areas, which benefit many other species, so increasing biodiversity.
On Friday (26th March), the first part of a family group, a father and son, arrived and were released by Iolo Williams, Naturalist and Television Presenter, into a secure enclosure that has been purpose built on the reserve. This family is quite special, as the father is a much rarer, black morph individual, with entirely black fur, his son has a brown pelt with patches of darker fur that can be seen in certain light. The mother will follow soon and re-join her family in a few weeks.