Beavers will be reintroduced into the wild, this will be done under the proposals of the government to encourage a "cautious" return of the semi-aquatic rodents to English rivers.
The indigenous animals will be legally protected in England, so deliberately capturing, killing, disturbing, injuring, or even damaging their breeding sites or resting places is an offence. This is included in efforts to boost their recovery.
As plans are being put out for dialogue, certain criteria will be needed in requests for licences to free beavers into the wild, which includes local buy-in and making sure landowners are supported and river users is in place.
Beavers are considered as natural engineers that bring back wetland habitats through felling trees and dam-building, lowering, preserving and filtering water in their natural environment, which brings other wildlife and decreases flooding downstream.
In Britain, beavers were hunted for their fur, meat, and glands till they went extinct in the 16th century.
Reintroduction of Beavers
They have partially returned to England and are found wild on Devon's River Otter which is the location of a fortunate official trial reintroduction, and also on other rivers because of unauthorized releases or escapes.
They have also been brought into enclosed areas in several English counties to assist in the management of floods and make habitat for other wildlife.
Conservationists support the reintroduction of beavers to bring back wetland habitats, increase the number of other wildlife, control climate impacts including severe flooding, and back eco-tourism - though landowners have brought up concerns pertaining to the impact locally.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is beginning consultation lasting for a 12-week on more reintroductions into the wild and management of other wild populations in England, which George Eustice, the environment secretary, said would take a careful strategy.
Licences for Reintroduction
Eustice said: "We are committed to providing opportunities to reintroduce formerly native species, such as beavers, where the benefits for the environment, people and the economy are clear. But we also understand that there are implications for landowners, so we are taking a cautious approach to ensure that all potential impacts are carefully considered."
The dialogue seeks views on possible future reintroduction into the wild, current and potential releases into enclosed regions, and controlling of beaver activity or effects in the wild, including on the River Otter and location other beavers living freely have made their habitat.
It suggests that authorization for reintroductions into the wild would need to meet requirements like showing helpful stakeholder engagement and local buy-in, and evidence that a complete assessment has been handling impacts on surrounding land, infrastructure, habitats, waterways, and species.
Projects must also make sure that assistance for river users and landowners is included in the proposals.
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