The Scottish Government have just announced that the Eurasian beaver is to be formally recognised as a native species, 400 years after being hunted to extinction in the UK.
As co-funders of the Scottish Beaver Trial we were thrilled to be involved in this project and hear this historic news.
Lead partners Scottish Wildlife Trust and the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland explain, “Returning beavers to Scotland’s lochs and rivers is the first formal mammal reintroduction in UK history. Today’s announcement is a major success story for conservation, and the culmination of nearly two decades’ work.
The project partners are delighted to be given the green light to reinforce the existing population in Knapdale, Argyll, and welcome the news that the established population on the River Tay will be allowed to remain in place.
The benefits of beavers include creating new wetlands that support a wide range of other species such as otters, water voles, fish and dragonflies; creating more diverse woodlands through naturally coppicing trees; and helping to regulate flooding and improve water quality. An increase in beavers is also certain to boost wildlife tourism in Scotland, helping to grow a sector that is already worth £127 million per year to our economy.”