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What effect do beaver dams have on brown trout?

Beaver swimming in a river

In the UK, freshwater corridors such as rivers have been altered and modified by humans for centuries. Rivers and streams have been straightened, channelised and constrained for agriculture, domestic and industrial water supply, energy generation, and flood defence purposes. This has disrupted both natural river processes and the wildlife that inhabit these areas. Freshwater habitats are globally threatened and so there is a need to restore rivers, but this is very expensive, costing from around £2 million to around £26 million per km2.

Reintroducing beavers is viewed as a natural method, or ‘Nature Based Solution’, to this problem, offering a low-cost, self-sustaining method of restoring rivers. Beavers are considered ecosystem engineers as they modify both aquatic and riverside habitats.

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