German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv)
20.04.2016 | Biodiversity Conservation, TOP NEWS

High school student "traps" beavers in Halle

Beaver (Castor fiber) spotted at the Wilde Saale in Halle by a team of iDiv & MLU. Photo: Max Hofmann & Anne Schmidt, iDiv & MLU

Halle (Saale). For the first time in over 70 years, beavers (Castor fiber) have been spotted in the center of the city on the Saale river. The biologists Max Hofmann and Laetitia Navarro from the Research Group Biodiversity and Conservation of iDiv and Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg placed camera traps in the nature reserve "Nordspitze Peißnitz" with the permission of authorities. Anne Schmidt, a 15-year-old high school student from Borsdorf near Leipzig, scanned over 1000 photos during her internship at iDiv/MLU. She discovered birds, foxes, martens, mice, nutrias, and raccoons and - finally - a pair of beavers. It had already been suspected that the beaver is back in Halle, but this was the first photo proof.

The beaver sighting is of political relevance as the city of Halle plans to pave dirt tracks within the nature reserve and to open the Wilde Saale river for water sports. This aspect is featured in detail in the Mitteldeutsche Zeitung (20 April 2016, p. 3), which devotes a full page to the beaver returning to Halle.

The research group Biodiversity and Conservation, headed by Prof. Henrique Pereira, focuses on "Rewilding" - i.e., the return of wild animals such as wolf, lynx or beaver into landscapes inhabited by humans. In 2015, the group published "Ecosystem Services: The Opportunities of Rewilding in Europe". The book gives an overview of the potential for rewilding in Europe.


Further Information:

Max Hofmann

Dr. Laetitia Navarro

Prof. Henrique Pereira



Yvonne Cerqueira , Laetitia M. Navarro, Joachim Maes, Cristina Marta-Pedroso, João Pradinho Honrado, Henrique M. Pereira (2015): Ecosystem Services: The Opportunities of Rewilding in Europe.


Links to media coverage:

Schülerin gelingt Aufnahme: Biber zeigt sich nach Jahrzehnten wieder in der Saalestadt

Beweis: "Fotofalle": Tatsächlich wieder Biber in Halle

Biber in Halle: Die Rückkehr der Holzfäller


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