European beavers have come back from the edge of extinction. These large rodents were found all across Europe and Asia until the beginning of the 20th century when numbers in the wild were estimated at around 1,000 - unfortunately beavers were highly prized for their fur and castoreum, the chemical they use for marking territory, communicating and water-proofing. Programmes of reintroduction and protection have seen beaver populations re-establish, most recently in Scotland following their reintroduction in 2001. As with their American cousins, Europe's beavers can have a tremendous impact on ecosystems, as they build dams that alter water flow and depth.
Scientific name: Castor fiber
Ellie finds out more about the UK’s first beaver trial with expert Simon Jones.
In Knapdale forest, Ellie finds out more about the UK’s first beaver trial with expert Simon Jones.
The following habitats are found across the European beaver distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.
Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.
Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web
Population trend: Increasing
Year assessed: 2008
Classified by: IUCN 3.1