Страйкер (Gary Strieker)
хочет избавить остров от бобров
TIERRA DEL FUEGO, Argentina (CNN) -- A stealthy invader from the north is
wiping out large areas of native forest on Tierra del Fuego, an island at
the southern tip of South America.
The invader, the North American beaver, has proliferated from only a few
pairs 50 years ago to at least 100,000 today.
The Argentinean government imported the original beavers to raise on
commercial fur farms. When the project failed, the beavers were released.
They quickly spread across the island. They have since chewed their way
through river valleys and stream beds, felling the trees they need for
food and building dams, which create even greater damage.
"What happens when the beavers take over an area like this, they
raise the water level, the roots in the trees rot, and the tree dies,"
said Marcela Uhart of the Wildlife Conservation Society.
The population explosion has taken place because the beavers have no
natural predators in this new environment.
Rivero traps beavers hoping to
control the population "They belong in another habitat. Their native
habitat is not this," Uhart said. "So there needs to be some
kind of control here. They have no native species to control them."
Wildlife experts say the beaver population on the island would eventually
be limited by available resources. But until then beavers would continue
to spread, taking down countless trees in their path.
Gustavo Matteazzi, an animal control official with the Argentinean government,
hopes to control the beaver population by supplying hundreds of traps to
people like Estaban Rivero. The rancher
says he takes more than 1,000 beavers every year using the traps, which
kill the animals swiftly and humanely. If the government gives him more
traps and some financing, he says he can take more than 10 times as many
beavers. Rivero can produce high quality furs, but currently the
international price is depressed because of economic troubles in major
markets like Russia and Korea.
If prices recover, and beaver trappers can make a profit, it may still be
possible to control the invasion of beavers on this island.
9 июля 1999 года