In the Thames swim beavers and sharks



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In the Thames swim beavers and sharks

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has launched a project to increase the presence of wildlife in the British capital. London already has many colonies of animals, such as squirrels, foxes and many types of birds, but now, from the outskirts to the Thames estuary and along the canals there will be much more to observe.

The project was conceived by Ben Goldsmith, who said: "I met Sadiq at Cop26 in Glasgow and we had a great conversation. I suggested to him that a task force for the re-naturalization of London would be a really exciting innovation, not least because the capital is making progress on all aspects of the climate agenda.

" In some areas on the outskirts of the capital, beavers will be released into the marshes, while parts of the Thames estuary will be a swamp for waterfowl. Beaver colonies had already been released in the North London suburb of Enfield.

Sharks now also swim in the Thames, as discovered by zoologists working on a project to map and conserve the river's fauna. In the 1950s, the Thames had been declared biologically dead. However, since the late Eighties, redevelopment began, with oxygen levels increased and phosphorus decreased, thanks to a better filtering system of the exhausts that retains harmful chemicals, also thanks to the installation of large oxygenators.

In the Thames swim beavers and sharks

Further contamination comes from micro-plastics or soluble medicines that the treatment of the sewer system is unable to filter, but the sighting of sharks is good news on the nature conservation front.

Biologist Thea Cox explained: "We believe that young sharks are using the Thames estuary as a possible nursery. As slow growing animals that produce few young, sharks are particularly vulnerable and we are now working to better understand their presence in the Thames.

and ensure their long-term survival." The River Thames flows east into the North Sea and, although it is not the largest river in length and flow in the United Kingdom, it is by far the largest in historical and economic importance.

Its catchment area is inhabited by about 15 million people. Contrary to what one might commonly believe, the Thames has modest average flow rates which generally do not exceed one hundred cubic meters per second at the mouth; but what makes it so important is the width of the estuary and the fact that the tide rises well beyond central London, making it navigable in any season.