Because the beaver isn't just an animal; it's an ecosystem!

The Martinez Beavers

Day: November 14, 2012

It’s still the same old worry
The digging, damming, furry
A danger to the dry
The world will never welcome beavers
As time goes by

Apologies to Herman Hupfeld

Thriving beaver population ‘threatens’ Dutch flood banks

The Netherlands' beaver population is expected to grow from 700 to 7,000 by 2032

A thriving beaver population is threatening the stability of the Netherlands’ sea defences, a group of experts has warned. The Mammal Society has brought together other wildlife groups to work out how to protect these important water-blocking dykes from the small but potentially destructive semi-aquatic rodents.

You know, it’s a funny thing about the worry that beavers are tunneling all through your ground, and the folks in Martinez could tell you the story over a mug of bier and a kopstoot or two. This might come as a shock, so sit down and get comfortable. Are you ready?

Sometimes they lie.

So far, there have been no beaver sightings in the capital, Amsterdam.But beaver expert Vilmar Dijkstra assures me it is only a matter of time.

“When people have not had beavers before they do not know how to cope when they come and that is why we need to make sure we are all prepared.”  ‘In their nature’ The Netherlands’ famous dykes protect the land from being flooded: without these sea defences huge swathes of the country would be underwater.

In areas where the dykes are directly connected to the water, the beavers are starting to burrow through the ground.  There have been two cases that the Mammal Society is aware of, in which the water board has been called in to repair the damaged dykes.

Two cases? Two cases in a quarter of a century where you have assumed that damage to the levies was caused by beavers and the BBC reports on it? Are you serious? You do realize that beavers don’t ‘tunnel’ right? I mean they’re not excavating mine shafts of staging jewelry heists. You might want to glance at this and think a little about the reality of beaver digging before you leap into alarm mode.

Or you could be like Martinez and spend half a million dollars to put a wall of sheetpile in front of another wall of sheetpile. That works too.