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Three pairs of beavers were earlier this month released at sites managed by Forestry Land Scotland (FLS) in support of the Scottish Government’s policy to reinforce existing beaver populations.

The animals have been relocated from sites in Tayside to other locations in Tayside and in Knapdale where there is low risk of beaver-human conflict.

A solitary male was also released at Knapdale, where a solitary female was already present.

Releasing beavers in these locations, as licensed by NatureScot, is expected to strengthen the local beaver populations, retain genetic diversity within the Scottish population, provide local biodiversity benefits and contribute to the National Beaver Strategy.

Lorna Slater, Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity, said:

“This translocation, which is likely the first of many that Forestry and Land Scotland will facilitate, is another great step forward in helping to expand the population of beavers in Scotland.

“As well as removing any threat to the animals the move to these specifically selected locations will minimise any potentially negative impact on other species and land uses.

“The beavers released at Knapdale will also give visitors to the Argyll Beaver Centre more opportunities to see these animals in the wild. This will be a great boost for local community group, the Heart of Argyll Wildlife Organisation (HAWO), which thanks to a recent asset transfer now owns and runs the centre.  

“In all three locations the beavers can now set about building their lodges and the dams that in their small way contribute to the restoration of Scotland’s natural environment, creating wetland habitats that will support a range of other species.”

Trapped under licence by Beaver Trust from various areas in Tayside, the beavers were cared for at the Five Sisters Zoo, where staff could ensure that they were fit and healthy before being released into the relocation sites.

The animals are now busy felling trees and preparing for the winter ahead.

Monitoring over the coming months will continue to ensure they settle into their new environment.  

Notes to editors

  1. Forestry and Land Scotland (FLS) manages forests and land owned by Scottish Ministers in a way that supports and enables economically sustainable forestry; conserves and enhances the environment; delivers benefits for people and nature; and supports Scottish Ministers in their stewardship of Scotland's national forests and land.

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  3. Media enquiries to Paul Munro, Media Manager, Forestry and Land Scotland Media Office 07785 527590 or