An Unusual Small Estate On The Edge Of The Highlands
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The Bamff beavers send their congratulations to the Scottish Beaver Trial at Knapdale who have won the Lonely Planet Magazine's Wildlife Comeback Award (August 2011). They would also like to politely point out that there have been beavers at Bamff since 2002 and beavers living wild in the Tay catchment since 2001! The more beavers the merrier in our view. Viva la beaver!
Young beaver born on the Bamff Estate and names Isla.
The Bamff beaver project began in 2002 when Paul and Louise Ramsay brought in two Norwegian beavers. Later two Polish beavers and a number of Bavarian beavers arrived. Two families, kept in very large enclosures, have been breeding now since 2005 and 2006 respectively, and have made a significant impact on the Bamff landscape, converting a ditch into a series of ponds and swamps by building a series of fine dams."
eavers are semi-aquatic rodents native to Europe and North America. They are excellent swimmers and divers, can swim underwater for ½ mile, and hold their breath for up to 15 minutes. Beavers are best known for their natural trait of building dams in rivers and streams, and building their homes (known as beaver lodges) in the resulting pond. They are the second-largest rodent in the world.
Beavers always work at night carrying mud and stones with their fore-paws and timber between their teeth. The largest known dam was discovered by satellite imagery in Northern Alberta in 2007, approximately 850 meters (2,790ft) long. Dam building is extremely beneficial in restoring wetlands and providing habitat for many rare and common species.
The ponds created by well-maintained dams help isolate the beavers' lodge, which is also created from severed branches and mud. The beavers cover their lodges late every autumn with fresh mud which freezes when the frost sets in. The mud becomes almost as hard as stone, and has underwater entrances to make entry nearly impossible for any other animal. Contrary to popular belief, beavers create the entrance after they finish building the dam and lodge structure. There are typically two dens within the lodge, one for drying off after exiting the water, and another, drier one where the family actually lives.
Beavers usually live in family groups. As many as 12 beavers may make up a family, but generally there are 6 or fewer. The group includes the adult male and female, the young born the year before, and the newborn. A female beaver carries her young inside her body for about three months before they are born. She has two to four babies at a time. Most young beavers, called kits or pups, are born in April or May. Beavers live as long as 12 years.
Beavers eat the inner bark, twigs, leaves, and roots of trees and shrubs. Poplar trees, especially aspens, cottonwoods, and willow trees are among their favorites. They also eat water plants, and especially like the roots and tender sprouts of water lilies. Beavers store food for winter use. They anchor branches and logs in a cache under the water near their lodges. In winter, they swim under the ice and eat the bark.
Scottish Wild Beaver Group (Click for more...)