Scottish Land & Estates question delay in capturing Beauly beavers

Written by Liam Kirkaldy on 24 October 2017 in News

Attempts to capture the beavers, which are thought to have been released illegally around five years ago, have been suspended after two of the animals died

Scottish Land & Estates has expressed its surprise at delays in attempts to catch a group of beavers living in Beauly.

Attempts to capture the beavers, which are thought to have been released illegally around five years ago, have been suspended after two of the animals died.

But while conservation group Trees for Life urged ministers to leave the group where they were, land owners body Scottish Land & Estates warned that the delay in catching the beavers would give the population more time to grow and spread their range.


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Karen Ramoo, policy officer at Scottish Land & Estates, said: “Cabinet Secretary Roseanna Cunningham was clear in July that “swift action” was required in Beauly but little explanation has been given on why attempts by SNH to capture and relocate these beavers have now been curtailed.

“SNH say that trapping efforts will resume on an unspecified date next year when there will be a more plentiful supply of food. However, we are concerned that such a delay may allow the population the chance to grow and to increase their range, with little management in place to stop this from occurring.

“There is a clear need for more information on why this delay has happened and we would like to see SNH share full details of its management plan for the population, including planned trapping dates and methods, with relevant stakeholders in the area.”

Releasing beavers in Scotland is a criminal offence, though Cunningham has previously suggested that another illegally released population, based in Tayside, will be allowed to remain in place and expand their territory.

In July Scottish Natural Heritage said it did not have exact numbers for the Beauly group.

Tress for Life chief executive Steve Micklewright told the BBC: "We are deeply saddened that the Beauly family of beavers has now been split up and two of them have died in captivity.

"Beavers have been in the area for five to eight years with no local concerns or controversy. Many people had no idea they were there."

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