Wed 24 Nov, 2021

With Greens in government, Scotland will now do that, matching beavers with those farmers and landowners who want them Mark Ruskell

Financial and practical support has been put in place for beavers to be translocated within Scotland rather than be killed, the Scottish Government has announced. [1]

The move follows years where licenses were awarded to kill hundreds of beavers, while none were relocated within Scotland.

Figures show that 115 were killed and 31 relocated elsewhere in 2020, an increase from 87 killed and 15 exported in 2019. 

Biodiversity minister Lorna Slater said: “Beavers were driven to extinction in Scotland but have now become an established part of our environment in some areas following their reintroduction, and today’s announcement will help them to continue to expand across the country.

"Restoring this lost species is important in its own right, but beavers will also contribute to restoring Scotland’s natural environment as they create wetland habitats that support a range of species, and their dams can also help filter sediment from watercourses and mitigate flooding."

Commenting, Scottish Greens environment spokesperson Mark Ruskell said: “The beaver is an endangered and protected species in Scotland, but that did not prevent the killing or exporting more than a tenth of the population last year.

“The Scottish Greens have been 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.

“With Greens in government, Scotland will now do that, matching beavers with those farmers and landowners who want them. Many communities will be excited to have beavers moving in nearby and I’m delighted that the first translocation will be taking place at a farm near Doune in the days to come.”

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