FAQ: How will you track released animals?

The Scottish Beaver Trial has several dedicated staff members whose job it is to monitor and track all the beavers. Tracking the activities of animals in the wild requires a lot of hours, patience, skill and team-work. Members of the Field team spent time in Norway prior to the start of the Trial in order to developing their expertise in beaver monitoring and trapping.

At the time of release all beavers were fitted with a radio transmitting tag, which helped to closely monitor them for the first few important weeks as they settled down in their new homes. These tags were carefully glued onto the animals' rumps and tended to last 4-12 weeks once out in the wild. More recently, adult beavers have been fitted with GPS tags to establish how far the beavers travel over a specific period – and how far they travel from their lodges during seasonal changes.

The beaver families continue to be closely tracked all year-round via a variety of techniques including field sign surveys, direct observation and trapping for health assessments. Beavers are ear tagged and have microchips so individuals can be distinguished.

In addition, the beaver's environment and other species that live there will also be carefully observed and recorded using methods including water quality testing, camera traps and field sign surveys.

Click here to watch video footage of the monitoring and trapping methods carried out by the Field team.



Project partners

The Royal Zoological Society of ScotlandScottish Wildlife Trust
Forestry Commission Scotland

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    Comments of support

    "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." - Local businessman Darren Dobson, owner of the Cairnbaan Hotel

    With thanks to

    Beaver Trial Supporters
    People's Postcode Lottery

    See our other supporters

    The Royal Zoological Society of ScotlandScottish Wildlife Trust


    Beavers are back in Scotland!

    On 24 November 2016, the Scottish Government made the landmark announcement that beavers are to remain in Scotland. This is the first time that a mammal has been formally reintroduced in UK history.

    The trial population of beavers remains in Knapdale, and the Scottish Beaver partners are now focussing their efforts on re-enforcing this population to ensure its long term future.

    Boosting the Knapdale beaver population

    For updates on the beaver re-enforcement project, please visit the website of the Scottish Wildlife Trust or the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland by clicking on the adjacent logos.

    The Scottish Beaver Trial website

    Now that the Trial has ended, this website will no longer be updated. However, if you would like to browse our historical records on the website, please click the button to continue.

    Scottish Beaver Trial RZSS Scottish Wildlife Trust