Experts from the UK’s first licensed trial reintroduction of beavers – the Scottish Beaver Trial – have released footage of a second beaver kit at Lochan Buic in the Knapdale Forest of Argyll.
This the second young beaver – known as a kit – to be spotted at the Trial site this year and comes only a week after the first was captured on film.
Field Operations Manager for the Scottish Beaver Trial, Roisin Campbell Palmer, said: “We had suspected further breeding has occurred at the site but had not managed to capture it on camera. We can now confirm two kits present at this lodge. These kits are around three months old, having spent the first couple of months within the lodge, they are now starting to leaving the lodge and exploring their surroundings.
“In the camera trap footage you can see then foraging for themselves, and feeding alongside their mother. In one clip, you can see a kit playfully chasing off its sibling, all very natural behaviour. They all look in great body condition so we are keen to see their development. Beaver kits tend to remain with their parents until around two years of age before dispersing and finding their own territory.”
The Scottish Beaver Trial is a partnership led by the Scottish Wildlife Trust and the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland. It is hosted in Argyll by Forestry Commission Scotland. It is the first licensed trial reintroduction of a mammal to the UK and has brought the beaver back to Scotland after a 400-year absence.
The trial finished in the spring this year. Options for the future of beavers in Scotland have been outlined in a substantial and detailed report by Scottish Natural Heritage which considered the results of the trial, a study of more than 150 beavers living in the wild in Tayside and other beaver projects. It was sent to the Environment Minister for consideration in June and a decision is expected later in the year.
During the five year period, the Scottish Beaver Trial has engaged almost 3 million people about beaver ecology through a combination of outreach work, television appearances, educational programmes and site visits. The scientific monitoring required 11,817 hours of fieldwork, with activities including beaver tracking, lodge surveillance and water sampling.
Throughout the summer, the Scottish Beaver Trial is running guided walks from the Barnluasgan Visitor Information Centre at 6.00pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Bookings can be made by contacting the Scottish Beaver Trial Education Ranger on 01546 603 346.