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ŠUMARSKI LIST 1-2/1994 str. 28     <-- 28 -->        PDF

SUMMARY: The traditional area of the beaver (Castor fiber L.) inhabitation
covers also the Croatian regions. At the end of the 19th century the
beaver disappeared from almost the whole of Europe and the same fate also
occurred to this species in Croatia. Data exist on its existence in the watercourses
of Croatia, but since the beginning of the 20th century it has not been
mentioned as a specimen of the fauna in this country.

Interventions towards re-inhabitation of the beaver in the whole of Western
Europe has contributed to its recovery, thus, nowdays there is no danger of
its extinction.

Research into active habitats of beaver in Bavaria served as a good basis
for research into potential beaver habitats in Croatia. The composition of
coastal and littoral vegetation, characteristics of watercourses, possibility of
beaver dam construction and extremely favourable possibilities for natural
spreading of its population were elements learned in Bavaria, and served as
starting points for research in Croatia.

During 1993 preliminary research was carried out at 15 localities in
Posavina and Podravina as potential habitats for the beaver. The maintenance
of strict criteria in the assessment of habitats some localities turned out to be
extremely suitable for the beaver. These localities were examined in detail and
the results of the preliminary investigation of their quality were confirmed.

The Žutica localities with watercourses Česma and Lonja, together with
Legrad with meandering courses of the Drava river, were planned for the
beginning of the beaver re-inhabitation in Croatia. Composition of the vegetation,
i.e. nutritional potential proved to be better than the average beaver
habitats in Bavaria. The distance of agricultural land from the coast eliminates
the worries of possible damage by the beaver on agricultural plants, and with
this basic pre-conditions are achieved for normal and habitational dwelling
of the beaver in these localities.

The investigation results offer a sufficient number of arguments for further
work on the re-inhabitation of the beaver in Croatia.