For sustainable society


Beavers prevent floods

A unique experiment with an animal has been started in Yorkshire, England. The animal is beavers who are good at building dams and so called a genius architect of the animal world.

The reason why the experiment with beavers has begun is that some major floods have occurred in Yorkshire in recent years. In December 2015, the worst flood in the past 70 years has occurred, causing about 7 million pounds of damage. Flood countermeasures are required to protect cultural assets in Yorkshire, where has many historic buildings. Then beaver was selected as a savior used for one of measures.

On April 17, 2019, the pair of Eurasian beavers was released to Cropton Forest in Yorkshire. It is expected that beavers can prevent floods by building dams with tree branches and restricting the flow of water. Other than preventing floods, it is also expected that the creation of new wetlands will bring great benefits to plants and other wildlife. Their actions in the 100,000 square meter forest will be observed over the next 5 years.

Now several artificial dams for preventing floods have already been built in Cropton Forest. In the experiment, it will be observed how beavers act to the existing artifacts and how they mutually effect. This is the first experiment to observe the beavers’ reaction to artificial dams, but it seems that the UK has been using beavers for flood control.

We look forward to finding how beavers react to artificial dams, while expecting positive impacts on flood prevention and ecosystem.