A beaver has taken up residence in the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Loch of the Lowes reserve, near Dunkeld, Perthshire. The origin of the beaver is unknown, but is believed to be related to one of many beavers in the River Tay catchment that have escaped or were illegally released from captivity.
The Trust, with the Tayside Beaver Study Group, has been monitoring the beaver at Loch of the Lowes since August (2012). Signs of the beaver are visible from the observation hides at the Loch of the Lowes Visitors Centre.
The Trust is pleased to be a part of the Tayside Beaver Study Group and we are keen to work together with all partners in the Group to monitor the existing populations of beavers on Tayside. The aims of the Group, which was established by the Scottish Government, are:
- To gather additional information and monitor impacts of the Tayside beavers on other wildlife and land uses in the area, to help inform Ministers’ decisions on the future of beavers in Scotland in 2015; and
- To help resolve any conflicts between beavers and land uses in the area by providing advice and practical help to landowners at a local level.
We support the Scottish Government’s decision to monitor the Tay beavers until the end of the Government licensed Scottish Beaver Trial in Knapdale, Argyll in 2015. The Government will then be able to make an informed decision on the future of all beavers in Scotland. The Scottish Beaver Trial is a partnership project between the Scottish Wildlife Trust and the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland. Click here to visit the official website of the Scottish Beaver Trial.
Commenting on the process for reintroducing animals to Scotland, Scottish Wildlife Trust Chief Executive Simon Milne said:
“The Scottish Wildlife Trust wishes to see the return of beavers to Scotland; it is a missing part of our ecosystem. However, we believe that any proposal for a reintroduction should be assessed following the best scientific information, consultations with stakeholders, and the merits of each individual case. Reintroductions should follow IUCN Guidelines and procedures and we remain opposed to the unlicensed release of animals into the Scottish countryside.”