Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

AROUND SLOVAKIA

Beavers are back in Slovakia

BEAVERS are making a return to Slovakia after more than a century of absence, with fishermen spotting the animals in early February 2014 along a stretch of the Váh River in the Stredné (Central) Považie region in western Slovakia. The dozens of felled trees and gnawed stumps along the river have also helped to give the beavers’ presence away.

The unmistakable trace of beavers in the central-Považie region.(Source: TASR)

BEAVERS are making a return to Slovakia after more than a century of absence, with fishermen spotting the animals in early February 2014 along a stretch of the Váh River in the Stredné (Central) Považie region in western Slovakia. The dozens of felled trees and gnawed stumps along the river have also helped to give the beavers’ presence away.

According to Ľubomír Ma-ľo, mayor of the village of Potvorice in the western-Slovak district of Nové Mesto nad Váhom, “I refused to believe it, so I went to see for myself, and I found felled trees, some of them immersed in the river and some of them on the river bank. I believe that they’ve come back here because the last few years have seen a massive improvement in the quality of the river water,” as reported in the TASR newswire. “A muskrat was spotted here from time to time, but never a beaver,” he added.

He was not able to specify, however, how many beavers are currently in Potvorice.

Peter Nováčik of the local civil association Brečtan (Ivy) noted that beavers were officially declared extinct in Czechoslovakia in 1977. The last traces of beavers were spotted near Bratislava in 1910. Beavers used to be common on Slovak territory before they were killed off, most likely by humans and industrialisation. The species re-emerged in Czechoslovakia a-round 1985, however. This followed a migration of beavers from Austria along the Danube and Morava rivers.

“At present, 700-750 bea-vers are estimated to be living in Slovakia,” said Nováčik. He added that there are two locations in particular where beavers live: the Záhorie Lowlands (Záhorská Nížina) in southwest Slovakia, where they have migrated from Austria, and an area in north-eastern Slovakia, in the Orava River basin and the Upper Považie region in northern Slovakia, where they have entered from Poland.

This second wave of beavers from Poland was observed along the Dunajec and Poprad Rivers. Two new locations in the mountain range that bear traces of beavers were spotted by local environmentalists last year, TASR learned from High Tatra Mountains National Park (TANAP) director Pavol Majko.

“TANAP staff spotted two new locations of beavers in the Lopušná Dolina valley in 2013 – which is very close to the catchment area of the Váh River and to the Liptov area,” said Majko.

The Eurasian beaver (Cas-tor fiber) is the biggest Eu-ropean rodent, measuring 75 to 100 centimetres in length and weighing 15 to 30 kilograms. Nováčik from the Brečtan civic association said that in the past, beaver habitats in Slovakia were mainly the Váh, Hron, Dudváh and Danube rivers, and smaller rivers in eastern Slovakia. After 1900, beavers disappeared from Slovakia, reap-pearing only in 1977. The bea-ver colony is expanding, but quite slowly, by four to seven kilometres a year.

Top stories

How the national emblem appeared – including so far secret communism designs

Even Slovaks often do not know why the national emblem depicts a white double-cross, and not the Kriváň peak, or the design by artist Vincent Hložník. They also do not know why it makes a difference whether it is…

Offical Slovak national emblem and colours

Bratislava Zoo will have new wolf breeding station

One of most significant investments of the Bratislava Zoo in the year 2017 will be the building of a new wolf breeding station.

Foreigners: Events around Slovakia Photo

Tips for performances and other events in the Slovak regions between February 17 and February 26, including a race on old wooden sleighs, an operetta premiere, a lot of jazz, classical and rock music, and more.

Rce in krňačky sleighing, Turecká 2017

Some food really is better in Austria, study finds

EC says its role is to monitor safety, not quality – but Slovaks want the same as Austrians, says minister.

Illustrative stock photo