Beavers in Sweden

In Sweden the beaver was hunted to extinction by the end of the nineteenth century. Between 1922 and 1939 approximately eighty individuals were imported from Norway and introduced to nineteen separate sites within the country. Wikipedia

Reintroduction of Beaver in Sweden An Early Success

A reintroduction has been defined by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) as “the intentional movement of an organism into part of its native range from which it has disappeared or become extirpated in historic times as a result of human activities or natural catastrophe.” Since extinctions in the wild continue and hence the number of species being potential candidates for reintroductions increases, it is a conservational tool of increasing importance.

The beaver population in Sweden is the result of one of the earliest reported successful attempts to bring back a species to its former range. The European beaver was historically found all over the Europe. Cultivation, deforestation, and grazing decreased the range of the beaver. However, habitat destruction was not the main cause behind the drastic decline in range and numbers. The main cause was overhunting. In the beginning of this century the beaver’s range in Europe was restricted to a few small areas. The last well-documented observations of beaver from the original Swedish population are from the 1870’s.

Between 1922 and 1939 about 80 beavers had been brought from Norway and released at 19 different sites in Sweden. In 1992, 70 years after the first reintroduction, the population was estimated at about 100,000 individuals. The population is still increasing and expanding its range.

Colonizing beaver have a great impact on stream morphology and hydrology by cutting wood and building dams, and ultimately influence plant and animal community composition and diversity. It is likely the most important key stone species in the northern hemisphere. Future management of the beaver population will have to balance the positive effects of beaver activity on biodiversity and its negative effects on forestry.

Beavers – here today, here tomorrow! « Nature Travels

The story of beaver reintroduction to Sweden is the story of one of the earliest reported successful attempts to bring a species back into its former territory. Once widespread throughout the continent, the European beaver population was decimated by the spread of agriculture, deforestation, grazing, and especially hunting.

Beaver safari in Sweden

At dusk while the sun set behind the treetops we paddle out on beaver safari. Through a very beaver rich wilderness area we move as silent as possible in Canadian canoes (the red Indians traditional canoe with space for two adults which in common language is simply called canoe). It is in the evening in the shelter of the threes long shadows the beaver is very active. With care we slide in silence towards the beaver huts. Slowly, slowly in order to get as close as possible without harming the beavers.

Beavers in Sweden (The Guardian)

Occasionally the urban male must venture into the wilderness to pursue hearty outdoor activities. But only one thing will tempt Gwyn Topham out of his natural habitat – the search for Swedish beavers