Canadian beavers invade Russia

Canadian beavers gnawed their way via Finland and Sweden and flooded the remote forests. Now, the Canadian beavers are hurrying to Russia, which makes Russian scientists rather nervous.

The re-settled Canadian beavers started moving from northern European southwards, ousting Russian beavers and posing a big threat to farms and forests. As a Russian scientist said, Russia has become the real battlefield between the Canadian and Russian beavers. For the time being, the Canadians are winning.

The Canadian beavers were brought to Finland and Sweden in the 1950s and 1960s, where there was no population of beavers. Since they did not have any natural enemies in these areas, they quickly extended their living areas. There are currently up to 20 thousand Canadian beavers in the north of Russia, and scientists say that they are going to move further south.

The difference between the Russian and the Canadian beavers is that the latter build huge dams, sometimes several hundreds of meters long, whereas European beavers do not usually spend their time making such things. As a result, the foreign beavers are changing the Russian ecology drastically and unpredictably, becoming the reason for floods on the adjacent territories. Russian scientists fear that the beavers will cause damage to Russian canals and farms, altering the water levels of the rivers. Some of them even steal vegetables from farms. One British newspaper wrote that beavers are “uncivilized animals.”

Translated by Dmitry Sudakov

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