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MfD: Beavers start invading Czech towns

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Prague, Dec 6 (CTK) – Protected beavers have expanded in the Czech Republic, causing high damage, and they have started invading even towns, daily Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD) writes yesterday.
Most recently beavers, which gnaw at tree stems, have appeared at a weir in the centre of Znojmo, a town of almost 34,000 inhabitants in south Moravia. Locals fear that the damaged trees will fall on the embankment or into the water and injure someone, MfD says.
The beaver population in the country is hard to estimate. Exerts point out that at least hundreds of beavers live in south Moravia, along the whole Dyje (Thaya) River, MfD says.
“The beaver population is still increasing and beavers occupy new localities,” zoologist Vlasta Skorpikova told MfD.
On the contrary, in the areas inhabited by beavers for long, their population is stagnating since only a certain number of beavers can live in one locality. Then the number of their young starts falling, the paper explains.
Out of Czech towns, beavers have been monitored not only in Znojmo, but also Cheb, Plzen, both west Bohemia, and Prerov, north Moravia, are facing “a beaver invasion,” MfD adds.
It writes that it is difficult to protect trees from beavers’ teeth. They may be fenced or coated with a paint.
Some people try traditional formulas as well.
“It helps to keep a dog in a garden or at least glue a dog’s hair on trees,” a local amateur gardener from Znojmo said.
Other “repellents” do not work so much, she added.
The Morava River Basin annually spends millions of crowns on the fight against beavers. Water treatment managers estimate the damage at 25 million crowns in the past five years.
The most severe damage is caused by the dams that these rodents build because they raise water level and may inundate the surroundings. Besides, beavers damage levees in ponds. This is also why steel nets have been installed on the reconstructed ones.
On the other hand, some dams built by beavers help during floods as they slow down the water flow during snows thawing and torrential rains, MfD writes.
($1=25.276 crowns)

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