TV presenter and adventurer Steve Backshall backs Blair's beavers
Jul 5 2012
by Clare Damodaran, Blairgowrie Adv
TV WILDLIFE presenter and adventurer Steve Backshall has lent his support to the campaign for the re-introduction of beavers in Scotland.
Speaking to the Blairie ahead of his appearance in Perth last week as part of a nationwide tour he said: “Species reintroduction has to be handled on a case by case basis, with an extraordinary amount of research and prior testing being done before animals are actively released.
“Beaver re-introductions appear to have been a success throughout Europe, aiding the creation of wetland habitats that have great positive affects on flourishing ecosystems.
“In Scotland, re-introductions are still in their early stages, but the results appear to have been good. If the beaver is to have a future in Scotland, then a lot more research has to be done, ascertaining their effect on fisheries and land management.
“Personally I believe this is a good addition to the Scottish fauna, and could well be up there with the triumphant return of the white-tailed eagle!”
A representative from the Scottish Wild Beaver Group, which works with communities, farmers and landowners to help people live with and enjoy Scotland's wild beavers, welcomed the comments.
They said: “We welcome this support from another well-respected naturalist, particularly one that has such a great rapport with kids. It is great for raising awareness of the cause of the Tay Beavers.
“The long term benefits of beaver reintroduction are well known and it is the children of today who will benefit from the re-introduction and the positive environmental impact that will have.”
The importance of preserving natural habitats and eco-systems was one of the main themes of the popular and award winning presenter’s show in the Fair City, which was attended by hundreds of enthusiastic young fans and their parents.
As part of the show, fans were treated to previously unseen footage from Steve’s expeditions around the world, all of which illustrated his firmly held belief that animals generally want to avoid contact with human beings at all costs.
The show was also packed full of statistics such as the fact that people are more likely to be killed by a falling icicle or coconut that by a shark, but that 100 million sharks are killed every year by human beings.
Steve answered a number of questions from the audience during the show, including what was his favourite animal in Scotland (otters), why he thought whales sing (communication and pleasure), what noise do giraffes make and how did he have the guts to do all the stuff he did.
He finished his show by quoting a Native American proverb: “Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realise we cannot eat money” and a plea to the predominantly young audience that “we are leaving the world in your hands.”
Results from the autopsy carried out on the beaver found washed up on the banks of the Ericht several weeks ago have confirmed that the animal died of natural causes.