Delight at legal protection for beavers

Mark Ruskell MSP, Environment spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (24 Nov) welcomed the long-overdue decision of Scottish Ministers to give protected status to Scotland's beavers.

Beavers were reintroduced to Argyll in 2009 and have been living in Tayside but to date have not had any legal protection.

In January of this year, parliamentary questions by the Greens revealed that beavers that were heavily pregnant or had recently given birth had been shot. Since May, Mark Ruskell has been pursuing the Scottish Government over the issue of legal protection.

Today, Scottish Ministers confirmed that beaver populations in Argyll and Tayside will be allowed to expand their range, that the species will receive legal protection, and that they will be actively managed.

Mark Ruskell, Environment spokesperson for the Scottish Greens and MSP for Mid-Scotland and Fife, said:

"I’m delighted the Beaver will finally be given legal protection in Scotland after years of campaigning, paving the way for populations to spread across the country. Beavers are nature’s engineers and in an age of climate change I cannot think of a more iconic animal that has already been welcomed by communities in Perthshire and Argyll. 

"Bringing this species back from extinction will make a huge contribution to restoring wetland habitat - boosting biodiversity while helping natural flood management. Farmers and land managers will need support from the Scottish Government to understand how to work positively with wild Beaver populations. 

"Thankfully there are numerous other European countries that have successfully re-introduced Beavers which will provide the basis for a welfare friendly management regime in Scotland.”