In the Pyrénées-Atlantiques the first photos emerge of a beaver after several centuries of absence for this species in this area of
In February 2018, a naturalist on vacation in the Basque region of
discovered indices of beaver presence on the banks of the Nive at Ustaritz (64) in the form of cut tree trunks and debarked branches. France
Click on photos to enlarge - Credits photos SD64 ONCFS
This led to the realization of a joint research by the ONCFS,
Thomas Ruys of Cistude Nature association, a representative of APPMA, (the angling federation), and a local naturalist.
This investigation confirmed that the indices were indeed those of a beaver but didn’t provide any actual sightings of one.
Following these observations of new cutting activity on fresh trees in November 2018, a photographic trap was installed which resulted in pictures of a beaver working on the trunk of a tree!
For the moment only one animal has been identified that is suspected of being an individual dispersed from the Spanish population of beavers present on the basin of the
Ebro or perhaps as seems more likely one or more have been introduced clandestinely.
The ONCFS beaver network will continue in the coming months monitoring the sector, as well as upstream and downstream areas, to check whether it is a permanent installation and to try to better understand the dynamics of the species.
The question is has the beaver made a comeback in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques after several centuries of absence or is this a lone example with unknown origins?
Link for Beaver in France