FAQ: What will happen if beavers stray outside the Trial area?

Beavers are highly territorial and re-colonisation takes place based on the suitability of the area as a beaver habitat. There are many locations for the beavers to re-colonise within the Trial area. However a Trial of this nature with numerous wild animals in a large, unfenced semi-natural area means there is potential for some beavers to move out of the Trial site.

In the first year of the Trial at least three of the beavers strayed outside the Trial area, with one subsequently recaptured and two others remaining unaccounted for. Our response to any straying beavers is to intensively track and search for these animals, with the view to recapturing and returning these animals to the Trial site as soon as possible. The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland has particular expertise in recapturing beavers in the wild. The project team will also work with the community to identify and mitigate against potential problems.

The Scottish Beaver Trial also benefit from any potential missing beaver sightings and observations passed onto us by local people and visitors to the area, so please contact us if you think you have seen a beaver in the wider area.



Project partners

The Royal Zoological Society of ScotlandScottish Wildlife Trust
Forestry Commission Scotland

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    Comments of support

    "The beaver is a missing part of our watery landscapes and has a role to play in the healthy functioning of wetland habitats." - Stephanie Hilborne, Chief Executive for The Wildlife Trusts

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    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