FAQ: When do beavers start breeding and do they hibernate?

Beavers are highly territorial and live in family groups, mainly in freshwater lochs and slow flowing rivers and burns. Beavers are crepuscular, rather than nocturnal, meaning they are most active at dawn and dusk throughout the year and do not hibernate.

1177 Kit and adult in quarantine copyright SBTBeavers can live up to 25 years in captivity, but do not usually live as long in the wild. Beavers are thought to be monogamous which means they mate for life or until their partner dies. A breeding pair can produce 2-4 kits per year. Mating takes place between January and February, with kits born within the lodge from April to June (gestation of around 105 days). Other family members may bring vegetation to the lodge for kits to feed on during this time. Kits are usually weaned after 2-3 weeks and soon emerge from the lodge to feed with their parents.1277 Adult and offspring in water copyright SBT

Offspring will remain with their parents until they are around 2 years old. Around this period they become sexually mature and leave to find territories and partners of their own.




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    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.

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