Accounting for nearly 24% of all property damage in the U.S., water damage was the last thing on the minds of those affected by recent flash floods in the tiny Scottish village of Perthshire. A recent report from Scottish Express says that the cause of the floods could be a pack of unwelcome beavers.
Let loose (purposefully) into the River Isla nearly a decade ago, the beavers have formed a number of colonies up and down the waterway. Fallen trees were found at the center of the flood zone, with marks that indicate that they’d been chewed by the toothy rodents. Director of the Scottish Association for Country Sports, Alex Stoddart, comments:
“We have been told by residents that there are clear beaver marks,” said Alex Stoddart, director of the Scottish Association for Country Sports. “From our knowledge of Canada and Europe they can have an effect on flooding… Beavers are spreading throughout Scotland and, as much as they can have environmental benefits, they now play an increasing, but largely unknown role in local flood and water catchment management.”
The reintroduction of the beavers into Scottish waterways has left the public worried about the consequences. Murdo Fraser of Tory MSP thinks that the Government should be careful about how their choices will affect local environments and towns. He says:
“Trees felled are perhaps as much to blame as gnawed wood from beavers but, until there is definitive evidence to prove beavers are not at fault, it would be unwise for the government to rubber stamp their reintroduction throughout Scotland.”
The choice to keep reintroducing beavers to Scottish rivers could mean inevitable flooding for the surrounding areas while they begin to build their dams. While it isn’t confirmed that it was the beavers who caused the floods, the people of Scotland definitely have a big decision to chew on if they don’t want any more cleanup.