What is wrong with the beavers?

I was over the moon when I heard that beavers had begun to make a come back in the wild and are flourishing, with new born kits. I knew that the Devon Wildlife trust had begun a beaver project in 2011 and that a project was ongoing in Scotland. I am a big fan of rewilding especially after the positive impacts it had at Yellowstone National Park. Beavers are a ‘keystone species’ that could reduce flooding in England so I was surprised that many were not as excited as me, but why?

The control freak, DEFRA is the main perpetrator, desperate to remove the beavers whom (by the way) is also responsible for the badger culling. They suggest that scientific evidence supported the cull and also the re-capture of the beavers. Similarly, as my previous blog suggested, science has again be used as an excuse to support an organisations agenda.

DEFRA has often taken a humanistic approach taking the lead from Farmers and landowners. A letter from the Angling Trust kicked things of by expressing the concern over the release of European Beavers in the South West of England. The Angling Trusts concerns revolve around the beaver being an ‘invasive species’ (when actually they are a native species) that could cause various infrastructure and natural damages. Interestingly, DEFRAS recent campaign Try something new this summer… go fishing! released 22nd July is partly designed to ‘improve facilities for anglers [along with] invasive species eradication’. Perhaps the chumy relationship DEFRA have with the Angling association has already predisposed the removal of the beavers and plans have already been set in motion.

However, the main concern was the beaver may be included within Schedule 2 of the Habitats and species Regulations (page 32). This will make it an offence to ‘deliberately capture, injure or kill any wild animal of a European Protected Species

DEFRA states that their is no such plan to add beavers to the schedual 2 of the habitats and species regulations. However, Lord de Mauley states;

‘when a previously native species that is considered a European protected species reoccupies and becomes established in territory that is considered part of its natural range, it should be afforded the appropriate protection under the habitat regulations, and added to scheduled 2 of these regulations’ 

So lets have a look at what established means. This was not an easy task. The term ‘established’ is spread all over DEFRA’s papers but they leave no true definition in which many of their acts hang from. I found a definition berried within The Ecomomic Costs of Invasive Non-Native Species on Great Britain, used by DEFRA as a reference. It states that an animal is established when ‘reproduce consistently and sustain populations over many life cycles without direct intervention by humans’. No wonder DEFRA are so desperate to get their hands on the beavers now they have had kits!

To throw another act in the mix for you and a battle that has started within the web of acts and laws. Section 14 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act is designed to prevent the introduction of particular plants or animals that may cause ecological, environmental, or socio-economic harm. A press release by the Angling association has already suggested the potential impacts that the reintroduction could have. However, section 14 also states that they should consider the desirability of reintroducing specific species that are natives to that territory where it may contribute to its conservation. So is the Angling Association worried about a conservation zone being created around the beavers? Possibly, however before this could happen DEFRA have stated that they are still awaiting the results from the project in Scotland which are expected in about 1 years time.

Perhaps, there is still a chance if the capture of the beavers is somehow halted for a year. The results could be positive from the Scottish project and the beavers could become established and then protected under European Endangered Species act. DEFRA will not have a leg to stand on.

Fingers crossed!

Responsible Tourism News snippets

A video has been released of the un-contacted tribes coming into contact with people in Brazil. They are obviously angry about something. It has been suggested that they have voluntarily come into contact with people due to a massacre of their village by non-indians.

The amazing news that Southwest Airlines have ended a 25 year relationship with Seaworld. They have seen the light and done the right thing. Hopefully others will follow!

Unfortunately, Tourism Vancouver as decided to take a step backwards while many are focused on moving forwards. They have decided to support their local aquarium and its future cetacean plans.

War Tourism, what is it good for. It is often discussed that tourism has positive impacts by sharing what is truly occurring in the world which influences people into action. But I am struggling to see how viewing people in desperate situations like war could help.

The tourism industry has continued its backlash towards elephants that are involved in tourism rides and shows. With the cruel truth behind this industry and how its supporting an illegal trade of wild elephants across boarders.

Calls have been made to stop ‘tiger selfies’. The selfie with wild animals is said to be supporting their captivity.

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