Beavers - a service or disservice? - from a protected species to a hazard for poplar cultivation.
Before acquiring the status of protected species, the European beaver was hunted down to the extent of disappearing almost entirely. It was not until 1968 that beavers were granted this status on a national scale. It was then that reintroductions were organised. As a result, beavers were able to reclaim new territories including the Loire watershed. Populations grew but not without causing some inconvenience. They caused damage, particularly to poplar groves, to the extent that today they are a topic of great concern for poplar growers in certain areas. The latter feel powerless because the means available for protecting their stands are often inefficient, while, as a protected species, they cannot be hunted. The beaver has now become a hazard, the source of a "disservice" to the already weakened sector of poplar cultivation.