Our busy lochside hides this afternoon were full of visitors enjoying our ospreys in-flight antics when an unexpected wildlife visitor turned up: the first ever recorded sighting at Loch of the Lowes of a BEAVER.
At three o’clock this afternoon, in broad daylight, our eagle eyed visitors spotted what they at first thought was an otter , and watched the beaver swim up to and under the Crannog hide. It then disappeared into the reed beds, then emerged an hour or so later to continue its tour of the loch in full view. Clever visitors, such as local Mary Rattray, had the presence of mind to grab their cameras and their pictures left us in absolutely no doubt that the visitor was in fact a beaver- but we’ve also had confirmation from the expert staff at the Scottish Beaver Reintroduction Trial at Knapdale.
Our senior staff said this afternoon:
“This beaver is likely to have originated from the unlicensed population of beavers in Tayside. We have know for some time they were spreading into the Lunan catchment and we have had reports from a few miles downstream but this is the first confirmed sighting here on the reserve”.
“It’s fascinating to see this beautiful creature in the wild at one of our flagship reserves, but we have to follow scientific principles: it is important that any reintroductions are licensed by the government, based on scientific evidence and in consultation with local communities”.
“We are content with the government’s decision to tolerate the beavers in the Tay catchment pending further evaluation. The Tay beavers are currently being surveyed, and we understand that the Government will make a decision in 2014/15 on this population based on the results of monitoring of the Tay beaver population and on the outcome of the full scientific evaluation of the Scottish Beaver Trial”
“Reserve staff and volunteers will be keeping a close eye on its movements to see if it is staying at the Lowes or if it is just passing through.”