Image - Old World (European) beaver Image - A beaver in the wildlife preserve in Rokytne, Zhytomyr oblast.

Beaver, Old World (Castor fiber; Ukrainian: бобер; bober.) A large aquatic rodent, up to 1.2 m in length and 30 kg in weight. It is prized for its fur. In historical times the beaver was widespread in Ukraine, even far to the south. In the Princely era its fur was in high demand in Western Europe and served as a medium of exchange. The princes set up special beaver reserves for hunting. The species was threatened with extinction and is now under strict protection. In 2007 the beaver population in Ukraine was over 30,000. The beaver now thrives on reserves in Polisia near Pynsk; on the Ovruch River, Uzh River (Polisia), Brahynka River, Horyn River, Teteriv River, and Desna River; and in the Liubech region of Chernihiv oblast. In 1924 the Canadian beaver (Castor canadensis) was acclimatized on the Styr River near Lutsk.

[This article was updated in 2009.]

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