Wales beaver release survey has been started for conservation

Beaver in the water holding a stick

Welsh citizens are being surveyed about their opinions regarding the potential reintroduction of beavers into the wild.

In order to "gain insight into opinions held in Wales," the University of Exeter is conducting a public survey.

While beavers were successfully reintroduced to the wild in Scotland and England, they were hunted to extinction in Britain nearly 500 years ago.

Anglers and farmers are somewhat opposed to the Welsh Beaver Project's plan to reintroduce the rodent.

Dr. Roger Auster of the University of Exeter stated: "With discussions about beavers living wild in Wales, it is crucial to take local residents' perspectives into account.

"This survey offers a fantastic opportunity to learn more about the beliefs people in Wales hold and to determine whether and how attitudes may differ. ".

In 2021, beavers were first released in the Powys Cors Dyfi Nature Reserve.

Iolo Williams, a naturalist and TV host, said at the time: "They can help tackle important issues like flooding, creation of new habitats - they're an important part of that as environmental engineers. ".

Beavers create ponds by constructing dams on waterways, and inside of these ponds, they erect structures to defend themselves from predators.

These leaking dams not only lessen flooding but also provide habitat for insects, small mammals, and fish.

Beavers on log
Beavers, in the opinion of some farmers, may cause an imbalance between agriculture and wildlife.

Concerned about the potential effects on the landscape, some farmers and fishermen opposed the plans.

The National Farmers' Union argued that it was impossible to ensure that wild animals would remain in secure enclosures and expressed worry about potential river bank damage, flooding, and the loss of agricultural land.

Natural Resources Wales and the North Wales Wildlife Trust will receive the survey results from the university before they are made public later this year.

The event is open to all residents of Wales.

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