Beavers backed by new Scot­tish law

BBC Wildlife Magazine - - Wild News -

Amile­stone de­ci­sion means that Scot­land’s newly re-es­tab­lished beavers have been pro­tected by law since 1 May this year. An­nounc­ing the move, Scot­tish en­vi­ron­ment sec­re­tary, Roseanna Cun­ning­ham, said that the im­por­tance of beavers to Scot­land’s bio­di­ver­sity is huge.

“How­ever, we recog­nise that beavers can have a sig­nif­i­cant im­pact on farming.. .which is why we have been work­ing closely with farm­ers and part­ner agen­cies to es­tab­lish man­age­ment plans, as well as a li­cens­ing sys­tem for culling when there is no other al­ter­na­tive.”

This pro­tec­tion comes after a decade of beaver rein­tro­duc­tion work in Ar­gyll by part­ners the Scot­tish Wildlife Trust (SWT), Royal Zo­o­log­i­cal So­ci­ety of Scot­land (RZSS) and Forestry Com­mis­sion Scot­land. At the same time, beavers re­leased in Tay­side with­out of­fi­cial back­ing have also thrived, with a pop­u­la­tion of at least 430 an­i­mals in more than 100 ac­tive ter­ri­to­ries. This has led to killing of beavers by some landown­ers.

Wel­com­ing the move, which was cel­e­brated at a spe­cial event or­gan­ised by the SWT be­side the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment on the day pro­tec­tion came into force, RZSS chief ex­ec­u­tive, Barbara Smith, said that grant­ing Eu­ro­pean Pro­tected Sta­tus to beavers in Scot­land is a vi­tal step to wel­com­ing them back.

Kenny Tay­lor

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Scot­tish Govern­ment bit.ly/2KlQrfo

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