Back in 1946, the Argentinian government imported 50 beavers from Canada in what would prove to be a failed attempt at promoting commercial fur trading. Not importing any bears or wolves, the natural predators of beavers, the population exploded and is now estimated to be in the 100,000 - 200,000 range.
The beavers have caused widespread destruction of the forest ecological system, and even spread across islands and into neighboring Chile. Trekking through the area, it is truly impressive the number of trees that have been felled by the beavers. Their dams flood areas, drowning trees and vegetation.
While both Argentina and Chile are cooperating in the effort against beavers, currently their focus appears to be aimed more at controlling the population growth than completing eradicating it. The terrain is difficult and remote, making trapping and removal of the invasive species quite difficult. Hopefully they success though, for the sheer beauty of Tierra del Fuego is worth saving.
The stark forest destruction caused by Canadian beavers.