LISTEN: Donald Fraser explains why they’re translocating beavers out of the Tayside
A number of beavers living on the banks of the River Tay are going to be taken out and moved to the Forth catchment area.
They’ll be removed from areas where they’ve been causing trouble for farmers in an effort to mitigate some of the damage they’ve been making in places like Highland Perthshire.
Donald Fraser, NatureScot Head of Wildlife Management, said: “This will allow beavers to be trapped and removed from highly productive agricultural land where they are causing damage to farmland; they will then be released in an area where nature will benefit and there is less risk to agriculture.
“Beavers can play an important role in helping to restore biodiversity and responding to the climate emergency in Scotland. That’s because beavers have positive impacts on nature by creating habitats such as ponds and wetlands where other species thrive, as well as moderating water flows and improving water quality.”
Over the past three years the number of beavers has doubled to around 1,000 with 251 of them living in Tayside, that’s one-quarter of Scotland’s beavers.
They’ll be captured by licensed trappers and taken to a new location where they can offer the benefits they bring to the environment to new farmland.
Donald Fraser added: “But we also know beavers may cause severe problems in some areas, particularly for crops grown on flat, low-lying land.
“In assessing this application, we have listened to concerns expressed about the population reinforcement at Argaty from local farmers, who are concerned that the translocated beavers will move quickly into burns on their land and potentially flood land and cause damage to heritage and other trees.
“We’d like to assure these farmers that our mitigation scheme is available to help them with any issues which arise and affect their crops and trees and that our assessment is that, on balance, the expected benefits will outweigh any negative impacts.”
More information on the decision made by Nature Scot can be found on: https://www.nature.scot/doc/decision-document-license-application-191317-possession-control-transport-and-release-eurasian