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.



Project partners

The Royal Zoological Society of ScotlandScottish Wildlife Trust
Forestry Commission Scotland

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    "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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    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