The beavers in Knapdale have helped shaped the future for the species in Scotland. Your help can ensure the population is healthy long into the future.
Eurasian beavers are a true keystone species. These special creatures engineer whole habitats that benefit a range of other wildlife including otters, dragonflies and fish. They have a great impact on the landscape around them and play a vital role in diversifying woodlands and improving water quality.
From 2009 to 2014 the Scottish Wildlife Trust played a major role in bringing beavers back to Scotland, and proving the environmental and social case for allowing them to stay through the Scottish Beaver Trial in Knapdale, Mid-Argyll. The Scottish Government’s decision to let beavers remain in the wild and give them protected status is a major conservation success story. It represents the first formal reintroduction of a mammal to the wild in the UK.
In Knapdale the new wetlands have led to an increase in wildlife such as dragonflies. These, and other invertebrates, help pollinate crops and wild plants and provide the staple diet for many birds and mammals.
Recent research in Tayside has shown that the presence of beavers has helped to revitalise woodland by increasing the number of plants found by around 50 per cent.
The next stage will see up to 28 beavers released into Knapdale. This reinforcement is being carried out in partnership between the Scottish Wildlife Trust and the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS), under licence from Scottish Natural Heritage and Forest Enterprise Scotland.
The beavers will be sourced from a variety of locations and will be screened to ensure that they are healthy and free from disease before their release into the wild. It will increase the genetic diversity of the population and give them a chance to thrive.