• Germany's news in English

Beaver boom benefits German rivers

The Local · 24 Mar 2013, 12:58

Published: 24 Mar 2013 12:58 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Beavers are back - and their numbers are growing fast, not just in the countryside. International environmentalist organisation WWF estimates there are now up to 21,000 of the once-threatened rodents in the country.

“The population development is positive, especially as [beavers] had almost died out,” said Roland Gramling from WWF.

The flat-tailed animals, which can grow up to 130 centimetres in length and weigh up to 30 kilograms, had been under threat from urban development and pollution, but now appear to be making themselves at home in urban areas.

Gnawed trees on the banks of the Nidda River in the northern suburbs of Frankfurt are testimony to a growing community of urban beavers, said German conservationists.

“A few weeks ago we held the city's first beaver watch [in Frankfurt],” said biologist Mark Harthun of conservationist group Nabu. The mammals, which are native to Germany, have also been spotted in Spandau on the outskirts of Berlin.

The beaver boom is a welcome development, said Harthun, as their presence encourages the growth of other species along Germany's riverbanks. “Beavers pave the way for the rehabilitation of our rivers,” he said.

Experts are generally not concerned that the critters will cause chaos with their penchant for dam-building. Beavers are unlikely to build dams on the Nidda or Main rivers, said Harthun, as the water is already deep enough to cover the entrances to their stick lodges.

Story continues below…

However, authorities said the animals were still liable to fell trees, which must be removed if they float downstream and get stuck on bridges. “It means extra work, but no real trouble,” said Volker Rothenburger, head of the local nature conservation authority in Frankfurt.

DPA/The Local/jlb

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

21:44 April 1, 2013 by EffectivelyME
Not the kind of Beaver I would like to benefit from.
Today's headlines
Munich to get 'nice toilets' to serve cross-legged locals
Photo: DPA

The Bavarian capital has a pee problem - the city only has one public toilet for every 13,000 inhabitants. But a new plan could rescue desperate locals, the Süddeutsche Zeitung reports.

German kids get glowing report for their English skills
Photo: DPA.

As if multilingual Germans don't already put many English-speakers to shame, now the younger generation is improving their English skills even more.

Berlin museum controversially recreates Hitler bunker
The reconstruction of the Hitler bunker. Photo: DPA

Sensationalized or compelling history? Berlin museums clash over new Nazi bunker exhibit

Germans think they're fit, but they're really couch potatoes
Photo: DPA.

There's been an increase in the number of Germans who define themselves as "fit", but their lifestyle choices don't quite match this self-perception.

10 fascinating facts you never knew about German beer
Tennis coach Boris Becker and his wife Lilly at Oktoberfest 2016 in Munich. Photo: DPA

From malt and monks to Radlers and rivalries, the story of German beer is as rich and wonderful as its selection.

Intensive farming 'endangers a third of German species'
Photo: DPA

There are 32,000 species of animal, plant and mushroom life native to Germany. Due to intensive farming methods, one in every three of these is endangered, a new report shows.

German hospital uses therapy to 'treat' paedophiles
A poster from the campaigne "Don't offend", which offers therapy to paedophiles. The sign reads "Do you love kids more than you'd prefer? There's help." Photo: DB Scholz & Friends / DPA.

A unique German initiative is offering therapy to paedophiles to control their urges, with the aim of getting them help before they offend.

Minister: 'no tolerance' for clowns after chainsaw attack
Photo: DPA

Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière has called for a zero-tolerance approach to 'killer clowns' after a series of attacks culminating in two teenagers being chased by a clown wielding a chainsaw.

Baby who was auctioned on eBay taken away from father
Photo: DPA.

A German court ruled on Thursday that a man who put his one-month-old baby up for sale on the online auction platform eBay should only be allowed contact with the child under supervision.

Portugal's ruling party calls German minister 'pyromaniac'
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble. Photo: DPA.

The head of Portugal's ruling Socialists called German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble a "pyromaniac" on Thursday after he criticized Lisbon for reversing course on austerity.

10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd