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: What were the benefits to the local population?

In addition to improving local biodiversity, the reintroduction of the beaver may have also provided opportunities to develop ecotourism to the benefit of rural economies, as has happened on the Isle of Mull with sea eagles.

A study on the economic impacts of the beaver by the University of Oxford's Wildlife Conservation Research Unit concluded that "with forethought, prior consultation and planning, a beaver reintroduction should bring significant monetary benefits within the local economy and communities that could greatly outweigh any potential negative impacts.”  Research into the impact of beavers on the local economy around Knapdale Forest was carried out as part of the trial and its results are currently being assessed by the Scottish Government.

Local businesses reported an upturn in business due to interest in the trial increasing visitor numbers to the area.  Local businessman, Darren Dobson, owner of the Cairnbaan Hotel, said:  "As a local businessman, I welcome the return of beavers to Knapdale.  Beavers are fascinating creatures famed for their industrious habits, and their arrival to Knapdale is certainly creating a booming industry for local businesses.  Visitors can now come to the area, enjoy some of Scotland's most beautiful countryside landscapes whilst enjoying fresh local cuisine and have the chance to spot Scotland's first beavers in the wild".

Click here to read more comments of support for the trial.



Project partners

The Royal Zoological Society of ScotlandScottish Wildlife Trust
Forestry Commission Scotland

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Comments of support

"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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The Royal Zoological Society of ScotlandScottish Wildlife Trust