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: Will the beaver population get out of control as they have no natural predators?

At the time of release, all beavers were fitted with radio-tracking equipment and are being closely monitored via a number of survey techniques.

Whilst adult beavers do not necessarily have any natural predators in Britain, young beavers remain vulnerable. Low levels of kit predation have been experienced during the Trial already. Such events are to be expected and demonstrate that some predation control will occur in beaver populations in Britain. 

The re-colonization of beaver is likely to be gradual and slow. Beaver populations are regulated by available habitat and food supply rather than by predators. A great deal of evidence shows that breaks in waterways are a strong barrier to spread, as beavers prefer not to spend long amounts of time travelling on the ground; steep landscapes also limit their range. The lie of the land at Knapdale means that there is a better chance of most animals in the Trial population being contained on the Trial site, although some dispersal out of the site has to be expected in such a project.

 

 

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The Royal Zoological Society of ScotlandScottish Wildlife Trust
Forestry Commission Scotland

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