Credit: Freepik

Beavers Return To Czech Krkonose Mountains After Centuries

Beavers have returned to the Czech part of the Krkonose (Giant Mountains) after centuries of absence. Their presence was confirmed at the end of this winter, Krkonose National Park (KRNAP) spokesman Radek Drahny told CTK yesterday.

Two individuals were spotted in the Krkonose foothills a couple of days ago, one being a beaver killed by a car on a road in Horni Sytova, and another captured by a mobile phone camera in Vitkovice. The former was probably a pregnant female weighing 18 kilograms. In Vitkovice it was a young beaver.

“The above findings suggest that beaver colonisation will advance upstream of the Jizera River and its tributaries into the Krkonose,” Drahny said.

He said the mountainous landscape is not the most suitable for beavers, as they will not build their dams on fast flowing rivers and the composition of the bank vegetation in the Krkonose Mountains does not suit them very well.

“Therefore, it can be expected that if this interesting animal, which is able to significantly transform the landscape with its waterworks, will take hold here, it will be more likely to be only on meadow streams in the foothills,” Drahny added.

The European beaver was wiped out in Bohemia at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries, but since the end of the 20th century it has been returning to the Czech Republic by migrating from Austria, Bavaria, and upstream the Elbe from Saxony, and repopulating the old territories.

It is the Krkonose where the Elbe (Labe) springs, and it crosses the Czech-Saxon border in north Bohemia after flowing through the east and central Bohemian lowlands.

“In Krkonose, beavers have so far only been found in the northeastern foothills along the Bobr River in neighbouring Poland since about 2010,” Drahny said.

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