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Parliamentary Debates and Questions

S5W-16309: Mark Ruskell (Mid Scotland and Fife)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 1 May 2018

To ask the Scottish Government, in light of reported concerns about their impact on farms in the area over recent years, what plans it has to relocate beavers in east Tayside to the trial site in Knapdale.

Answered by: Roseanna Cunningham 14 May 2018

Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) issued Scottish Beavers (a partnership between the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland and the Scottish Wildlife Trust) with a licence on 18 September 2017 to reinforce the existing population of beavers at Knapdale with up to 28 animals by 2020. The donor animals will come from captive collections in the United Kingdom and wild-trapped beavers from Tayside. SNH is currently working with Scottish Beavers to finalise plans to relocate wild-trapped beavers from Tayside as part of this conservation translocation project.

While this translocation approach is important in the context of reinforcing the beaver population in Knapdale, it is not considered to be a standard option for dealing with beaver impacts on Tayside, given the costs and other resource implications, the risks to the welfare of the animals and the limited number of receptor sites.