The scientific monitoring period of the Scottish Beaver Trial came to an end in May 2014. In June 2015, Scottish Natural Heritage published the Beavers in Scotland Report.

On 24 November 2016, the Scottish Government made the landmark announcement that beavers are to remain in Scotland. For more information, please read the joint press release issued by RZSS and the Scottish Wildlife Trust.

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FAQ: How do we know that beavers were once in Scotland?

Beaver fossils are rare in Scotland due to the poor conditions for the preservation of bone, except in limestone cave areas. Efforts to find fossils of this kind have been limited in the west of Scotland. However, fossils which have been found suggest that beavers lived in Scotland for almost 8,000 years. Historical records show that beavers were formerly commercially exploited in Scotland and may have survived around Loch Ness until at least the early 16th century.  Intriguingly, a Gaelic name for the beaver, losleathan or dobhran losleathan (broad-tail or broad-tailed otter), survived as an oral tradition until the late 18th/early 19th century in Lochaber, Argyll, which suggests that the beaver may have survived in the west of Scotland until much more recently.

Beavers are a missing element in our native biodiversity and bring many benefits to their local environments. Click here to find out more.



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The Royal Zoological Society of ScotlandScottish Wildlife Trust
Forestry Commission Scotland

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