25 September 2015

Landslides caused by beavers

Posted by Dave Petley

Landslides caused by beavers

In Switzerland a section of the A1 motorway close to Courgevaux in the canton of Fribourg was closed by a landslide triggered by a beaver.  Thelocal.ch has the details:

Several tonnes of earth and rock covered the roadway early in the morning and it took a crew with earth-moving equipment until the evening to clear it up, police said.  The beaver had blocked a stream running parallel to the motorway. Pressure from the water burst a retaining wall, triggering the landslide, police said.  There was no information on what happened to the beaver.

There is also an image of the debris:-


A beaver landslide, picture from the Fribourg cantonal police via thelocal.ch


Perhaps surprisingly this is not the first time that beavers have been responsible for landslides.  Back in July, a landslide in Likely, British Columbia in Canada was caused by the collapse of a beaver dam.  This landslide damaged a road, causing 14 properties to be cut off. Meanwhile, back in July 2014 beavers were initially blamed for causing a landslide in North Okanagan, also in BC, although after putting up a spirited defence they were subsequently vindicated.

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