Beavers - benefits for your rivers and streams

Dingbat

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I was talking to a bloke across the road late May time.On the outskirts of Stornoway, he had a whole pile of ewes with lambs jammed into a small parcel of land. He ws feeding them round bales of hay (NOT cheap here given transport costs). The lambs were about two months old, but he did not want to take them home (swell south of Sy) until the lambs were 3-4 months old so they could have a chance of surviving! It was more cost effective to spend a fair bit feeding them. He told me his neighbour (larger scale, trying to make a proper go of crofting) was losing at least 25% of his lambs every year (100-150) to eagles and the compensation was derisory.
You are not countering anything.....just avoiding the point. A fortune is being pent to encourage people in to the crofting way of life, and an introduced species is proving an impediment.
The numbers are non-negligible - So basically crofting is not compatible with co-existence with indigenous wildlife or maybe the other way round, indigenous wildlife is not compatible with co-existence of worked land. When does the right of nature to exist independently of humankind stop?
 

Laxdale

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Birds before people? On an island with a declining population? I think not.
20 years ago an RSPB employee said at a meeting on the island that the best thing that could happen for the birds (not sure what species) was the removal of the people. It was a short meeting.
 

codyarrow

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just to be difficult - you could counter that by asking whether crofting was in itself ever sustainable and whether it should not be just given up on out of principle regardless of whether the success of crofting depends on not having a bird of prey in the air.
A pal of mine once described crofting as 'organised poverty'. There is no logical need for them now, only an historic resonance that is mis placed IMO. Not sure about the west coast but on the east coast of Scotland crofts are becoming impossible to get, not many packing them in, demand is high. Of course most are not 'crofting'. Put one sheep or one goat or one duck on the land and the crofting commission are satisfied.
The concept is emotional and political rather than practical.
 

fingask

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BobP

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What gets me is the fact that the pro lobby regarding beavers will not recognise or admit to any disbenefits. Everything is a benefit and that is just not possible. There are always pluses and minuses.
In the OP there is a long list of all the "benefits" that the beavers will bring. I've countered with the disbenefits. Others may well have their own views.

1) Insect abundance. The inverts in the running stream that was there before the beavers dammed it will disappear and be replaced by those suited to a stillwater habitat. That will create a barrier to insect migration that currently takes place.

2) Cleaner water. The dam will impound the river so it follows that most of the sediments in transport will drop out. Fines may or may not filter through the dam. The stillwater may enable the development of algal communities which would not be beneficial.

3) Reduced negative effects of flooding. Possibly, though if the dam failed suddenly then there would be very negative effects. The stability of beaver dams needs to be proved.

4) Reduced negative effects of drought. How may one ask? A pond will dry out due to evaporation and adversely effect the river upstream of it in the process. The still water in the pond will also heat up in the summer and that will kill all the fish in it. Far from being a safe haven the pond will be a death trap.

5) Increased refuge sites. Creating a stillwater is going to reduce refuge sites not increase them. Plenty of open water for FEBs to hunt in.

6) More available habitat. What habitat? A pond is created where there was a stream. That is reducing the habitat for salmonids.

7) Removes fines from the flow. Possibly, but will also drop the sediments out in the stillwater and eventually silt up the pond.

8) Water retention. You build a dam and you retain water behind it. That is obvious.

9) Dappled shade. What dappled shade? Beavers chop down trees. That is what they do and they will chop down the ones nearest to the water first. They won't be dragging large lumps of tree any further than they absolutely have to, so in a short time there will be no tree cover on the banks of the pond and hence no dappled shade. No shade means the water will warm up - it is 31 degrees where I am. No fish will be able to tolerate temperatures up in the mid-20's Centigrade.

i also read in the OP that trout and salmon will be able to wriggle through the maze of tree branches that form the dam. THAT I would like to see.
 

aenoon

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Bobp are you an expert or just a guesser
I would say its a factual summary from someone whom knows the countryside.
However, as he says, the pro reinstating beavers people wont hear of any of the obvious changes to the ecosystem as negatives.
This much became abundantly clear during the discussions prior to the Knapdale re-introductions.
Those in favour deemed their opinion to be correct, and those against wrong!
regards
Bert
 

glueman

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I would say its a factual summary from someone whom knows the countryside.
However, as he says, the pro reinstating beavers people wont hear of any of the obvious changes to the ecosystem as negatives.
This much became abundantly clear during the discussions prior to the Knapdale re-introductions.
Those in favour deemed their opinion to be correct, and those against wrong!
regards
Bert
Bert, I have lived in the countryside for all my nearly 80 years but I am not an expert of everything to do with the countryside even though many on here profess to be
 

boisker

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×
×
I would say its a factual summary from someone whom knows the countryside.
However, as he says, the pro reinstating beavers people wont hear of any of the obvious changes to the ecosystem as negatives.
This much became abundantly clear during the discussions prior to the Knapdale re-introductions.
Those in favour deemed their opinion to be correct, and those against wrong!
regards
Bert
Unusual..... did those against not think there opinion was correct?
 

aenoon

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Unusual..... did those against not think there opinion was correct?
My recollection, without trying to find dozens of old e-mails, was that those against, having listed some of the obvious factual effects of dam building, and tree felling on river eco systems were actually ignored, or forcibly given the benefit mantra, opinions or otherwise.
regards
Bert
 

boisker

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My recollection, without trying to find dozens of old e-mails, was that those against, having listed some of the obvious factual effects of dam building, and tree felling on river eco systems were actually ignored, or forcibly given the benefit mantra, opinions or otherwise.
regards
Bert
the people against didn‘t ‘forcibly‘ give their opinions?

Bob’s emails a great example...

he gives a view, based on his experience... albeit one that didn’t bother to read all the available papers and case studies available

if I (or someone else) challenges those views, why is that any different from him (or you) challenging mine.... why would I be ignoring you and forcibly giving a mantra?

I’d hate to disagree with either of you, and would hate you to feel I was being forceful...
so If I was to answer Bob’s email, I would fully agree with 1 out of his 9 points :)
 

ejw

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Interesting thread, with lots of side topics. In the late 60's and through the 70's we (my wife and I) were self sufficient i.e. my father and I shot, I fished and my grandfather was a market gardener for 30 years after retiring ? What has this to do with Beavers or Crofting ? In those days and before, you could live off the land, if something became a problem, it was "removed" not now politically correct, but nowadays if you put Beavers out into the wild, you have no chance of ever removing them, if they do not fit into the area. I do not advocate the "removing" of all wild creatures, but keeping nature in balance.
On a nice wild trout stream, if Beavers were to establish and cause an issue, blocking sections, causing fish deaths by pools overheating through lack of flow or causing localised flooding, what could be done - absolutely nothing. Shore you could apply to the EA or the local Wildlife group, but a licence would be required and lots of other paperwork, that will take ages to process ! In the meantime fish will die and floods will damage areas ! Local "save the flea" brigade would be up in arms against any intervention, no doubt the local if not national press would get involved - a no win scenario
We are now in an age where common sense has been removed and bureaucracy rules. It is also the time of small fluffy creatures, that the "public" love the idea of, but not the consequences of.
P.S. For information, I am no longer self sufficient as the cost far out ways the benefit. From the early 90's it was cheaper to buy food from a supermarket than to pay for shooting, just look at the cost in cartridges (no longer lead shot, but that is a whole different topic).
 

mrnotherone

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Unlike some here ( :) ) I'm not an expert on rewilding anything and I'm also not going to 'guess' with conviction about the pros and cons.

I do find it amusing though that some people think humans are needed to keep nature in balance. Nature gets along fine without us. There is hardly any landscape that we haven't altered for our own 'benefit' regardless of what gets destroyed.

Beavers may well alter river landscape and some won't like what they see, but the idea that that they would have a more negative effect than humans have had for the last 200 years is laughable. Dredging, building on flood plains, impassable weirs, intensive farming, pesticides, slurry, water extraction, raw sewage, fish farming etc etc

The little beaver will have his work cut out to get close to our outstanding performance :ROFLMAO:
 

Laxdale

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I am confused. How are the beaver dams not stopping the flooding in parts of the Tay catchment just now? Some morons and clowns with degrees in ologys said beavers stopped flooding.
 

mrnotherone

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I am confused. How are the beaver dams not stopping the flooding in parts of the Tay catchment just now? Some morons and clowns with degrees in ologys said beavers stopped flooding.
I think the problem is the beaver didn't read the small print on the back of his agreement....he's just beavering about, oblivious to your expectations...
 

kingf000

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What gets me is the fact that the pro lobby regarding beavers will not recognise or admit to any disbenefits. Everything is a benefit and that is just not possible. There are always pluses and minuses.
In the OP there is a long list of all the "benefits" that the beavers will bring. I've countered with the disbenefits. Others may well have their own views.

1) Insect abundance. The inverts in the running stream that was there before the beavers dammed it will disappear and be replaced by those suited to a stillwater habitat. That will create a barrier to insect migration that currently takes place.

2) Cleaner water. The dam will impound the river so it follows that most of the sediments in transport will drop out. Fines may or may not filter through the dam. The stillwater may enable the development of algal communities which would not be beneficial.

3) Reduced negative effects of flooding. Possibly, though if the dam failed suddenly then there would be very negative effects. The stability of beaver dams needs to be proved.

4) Reduced negative effects of drought. How may one ask? A pond will dry out due to evaporation and adversely effect the river upstream of it in the process. The still water in the pond will also heat up in the summer and that will kill all the fish in it. Far from being a safe haven the pond will be a death trap.

5) Increased refuge sites. Creating a stillwater is going to reduce refuge sites not increase them. Plenty of open water for FEBs to hunt in.

6) More available habitat. What habitat? A pond is created where there was a stream. That is reducing the habitat for salmonids.

7) Removes fines from the flow. Possibly, but will also drop the sediments out in the stillwater and eventually silt up the pond.

8) Water retention. You build a dam and you retain water behind it. That is obvious.

9) Dappled shade. What dappled shade? Beavers chop down trees. That is what they do and they will chop down the ones nearest to the water first. They won't be dragging large lumps of tree any further than they absolutely have to, so in a short time there will be no tree cover on the banks of the pond and hence no dappled shade. No shade means the water will warm up - it is 31 degrees where I am. No fish will be able to tolerate temperatures up in the mid-20's Centigrade.

i also read in the OP that trout and salmon will be able to wriggle through the maze of tree branches that form the dam. THAT I would like to see.
This desire to re-establish native species for no obvious positive reason seems strange to me. So will wolves be next, or do we stick to small, furry, cuddly looking animals? Malaria was once prevalent in many parts of the UK, helped by hot still wetland water (like upstream of a beavers dam?). Do we wish to re-establish conditions which may favour malaria, with global warming?
The river Otter report clearly states that beaver dams are washed away by high floods, and so, therefore I suppose, increases the amount of debris flowing down the stream to block culverts etc. The data just isn't there for very high water effects when flooding is at its worst.
It does say that fish passes will need to be created for low water level conditions to allow fish to pass freely.
Many members of that report committee are in the pro-beaver lobby and the report therefore downplays any adverse effects of beavers.
 

boisker

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This desire to re-establish native species for no obvious positive reason seems strange to me. So will wolves be next, or do we stick to small, furry, cuddly looking animals? Malaria was once prevalent in many parts of the UK, helped by hot still wetland water (like upstream of a beavers dam?). Do we wish to re-establish conditions which may favour malaria, with global warming?
The river Otter report clearly states that beaver dams are washed away by high floods, and so, therefore I suppose, increases the amount of debris flowing down the stream to block culverts etc. The data just isn't there for very high water effects when flooding is at its worst.
It does say that fish passes will need to be created for low water level conditions to allow fish to pass freely.
Many members of that report committee are in the pro-beaver lobby and the report therefore downplays any adverse effects of beavers.
beavers cause malaria 😂 😂 😂
did you use to write the headlines for the daily sport?

but I agree we must take the increased threat of malaria seriously... so perhaps stage one should be drain all commercial fishing venues that serve no purpose in fresh water supply;)

are people typing with their elbows and foreheads when they construct these concerns😂
 

kingf000

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beavers cause malaria 😂 😂 😂
did you use to write the headlines for the daily sport?

but I agree we must take the increased threat of malaria seriously... so perhaps stage one should be drain all commercial fishing venues that serve no purpose in fresh water supply;)

are people typing with their elbows and foreheads when they construct these concerns😂
No I didn't say beavers cause malaria - that is your interpretation. What I said was that malaria is another example of an 'animal' that was once in the UK, and is no longer indigenous. Beaver dams result in an increase in stagnant, warm water in wetlands, which is the prime breeding ground for the kind mosquitoes that carry malaria, particularly in areas where malaria was prevalent. Once beavers get established, they will ineveitably spread all over the country unless control measures are put in place. So maybe I'm using my brain more than others? If, God forbid, we do end up with malaria then yes, we would have to think about what we do with waters that are the breeding ground for the mosquitoes, as a way of controlling it. As we've seen with the rapid spread of covid, if overseas travel returns back to pre-covid levels, there is no way that we can stop the spread of diseases. In the past few years there have been more than 1,500 cases of malaria per year in the UK brought in from oversees.
 
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