Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Hunting beaver in Scotland

This time next year, there's every chance that beavers will be deliberately released into "the wild" (wherever that is) in Scotland as part of an official reintroduction programme.

Meanwhile those same people are frantically hunting down a couple of beavers that have jumped the gun, and got themselves released ahead of time, without the right papers.

Officials are quoted in The Scotsman as worrying that they may be lonely, diseased, or the wrong type of beaver. Or all of the above. They are setting traps baited with carrots and apples, which are known to work well for beavers.

You have to wonder at the modern trend towards micro-managing wildlife along with everything else. At this rate we'll be issuing sparrowhawks with licences to catch birds, checking the passports of migrating swallows, and giving salmon parking tickets if they linger too long in the sea-pool!

Seriously though, if you manage a wilderness - by planting species you think ought to be there, and weeding out species you think shouldn't - then it isn't a wilderness any more, it's a garden.

Incidentally, if you feel tempted to do your own research on the topic, make sure you google "hunting beaver" and not "beaver hunt", which apparently means something else entirely!

2 comments:

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

You couldn't make it up!
SBW

NorCal Cazadora said...

This is a beautiful line: "Seriously though, if you manage a wilderness - by planting species you think ought to be there, and weeding out species you think shouldn't - then it isn't a wilderness any more, it's a garden."

Reading blogs from your side of the pond makes me truly grateful for what we have over here in the U.S., especially California. There is so much truly wild land.