Scottish Greens have welcomed new figures which show beaver populations growing and spreading in Scotland, but warned that 15% of the population being killed or exported last year was unnecessary.
New figures from the NatureScot agency show the number of beavers has more than doubled to around 1,000 animals in Scotland in the last three years, but 115 were killed and 31 relocated in 2020.
This is an increase from 87 killed and 15 exported in 2019. There were no translocations within Scotland.
Commenting, Scottish Greens environment spokesperson Mark Ruskell said: “The beaver is an endangered and protected species in Scotland, so it is very encouraging to see signs that its population is growing and spreading. It plays an important role in the ecosystem.
“However, this population growth does not excuse the killing or exporting more than a tenth of the population last year. It’s clear that much more can be done to manage and resolve cases where conflict arises, especially through relocating animals in Scotland to areas where they can thrive, creating eco-tourism opportunities and helping restore wetlands.”