First new beaver trial since Knapdale announced

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A second site for reintroducing beavers has been announced by NatureScot – the first new one since beavers were brought to Knapdale in Argyll.

The new site is in the  Forth catchment area, northeast of Doune at Argaty, on the edge of the current range for beavers in Scotland.

The protected species licence will allow beavers to be trapped and taken from areas where they are causing serious agricultural damage for farmers and where mitigation measures have not been successful or are not possible.

A new survey published in August this year found that beaver numbers have doubled in Scotland in the last three years to around 1,000 animals, and that the population is in a rapid expansion phase as beavers spread out from Tayside, with territory numbers also more than doubling to 251.

Donald Fraser, NatureScot Head of Wildlife Management, said: ‘Beavers can play an important role in helping to restore biodiversity and responding to the climate emergency in Scotland. That’s because beavers have positive impacts on nature by creating habitats such as ponds and wetlands where other species thrive, as well as moderating water flows and improving water quality.

“But we also know beavers may cause severe problems in some areas, particularly for crops grown on flat, low-lying land.’

The population survey released this summer also revealed beavers now range from Glen Isla to Dundee and Stirling, Forfar to Crianlarich, and is likely to expand into Loch Lomond in the future.