Date lodged: 7 December 2017
To ask the Scottish Government how many beavers there are, and what methodology it uses to calculate the number.
Answered by: Roseanna Cunningham 21 December 2017
A survey of the Tay and Earn undertaken in 2012 estimated that there were 38-39 groups of beavers present in the Tay catchment area, equating to approximately 146 individual beavers. This survey has been repeated in 2017, the results of which it is expected will be available early in 2018.
The survey methods used in the 2017 survey were the same as in 2012 to allow comparison. The 2017 survey was not a comprehensive survey of the entire catchment as this would have been prohibitively expensive. Rather, it relied on extending the search beyond the locations identified in 2012 and also surveying additional areas where beavers had been reported since 2012. Just prior to the 2017 survey, SNH requested records of beaver presence from land managers to further inform the survey area.