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 long was the Scottish Beaver Trial?

The Trial commenced in May 2009 when the beavers first arrived in Knapdale and lasted for five years. After its conclusion in 2014, there is now currently a period for reporting where the impact of the beavers' activities on the environment and economy is being assessed.

The licence for this time-limited trial reintroduction was granted by the Scottish Government in May 2008. The beaver families were all caught in the Telemark region of Norway and transported to quarantine facilities in Devon and Scotland. They all completed a statutory quarantine period before being released in the Trial site.

The beaver families were closely monitored by a project team on the ground for the duration of the Trial period. Scottish Natural Heritage was tasked by the Scottish Government to co-ordinate the scientific assessment of the Trial and lead a group of external independent monitoring partners in the delivery of this programme. They reported to the Scottish Government on whether the conditions of the licence were being met. It is for the Scottish Government to now decide on the future of beavers in Knapdale Forest after the Trial ended in 2014.



Project partners

The Royal Zoological Society of ScotlandScottish Wildlife Trust
Forestry Commission Scotland

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"This is an exciting development for wildlife enthusiasts all over Scotland and beyond ... their reappearance will draw tourists from around the British Isles - and even further afield." - MSP Jim Mather

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