Eurasian Beaver Castor fiber

Eurasian Beavers were once a common sight across the UK. But about 400 years ago, when Elizabethan rule was sending quests across the world, the last native Beaver disappeared from our countryside. Hunted to extinction in Britain for their highly-prized soft, thick and waterproof fur, they managed to cling on only in remote parts of Europe.


Beavers have dense, brown or even black fur. They are stocky animals with small ears and eyes and a characteristically flattened, broad and scaly tail.


Length: up to 1m plus a tail of 30cm Weight: 18g Average lifespan: 7-8 years


Became the first officially reintroduced mammal in the UK. Currently awaiting European Protected Status classification.


Present in the wild in Knapdale Forest in Argyll and along the River Tay.

When to see

Jan – Dec


Beavers are a key species which help support the ecosystem to which they belong. They create wetlands which provide habitats for a range of wildlife such as water voles, otters dragonflies and amphibians. They coppice waterside trees and shrubs, letting in light to help plants grow and allowing the scrub to grow back as dense cover for birds and other animals. Beaver dams trap sediment, improve water quality and increase cover for trout and salmon.

Common name

Eurasian Beaver

Species name

Castor fiber

When to see in Scotland

Jan – Dec

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