Beaver cull ban call as num­bers soar

The Scotsman - - News Digest - By LAURA PATER­SON

A Scot­tish wildlife char­ity has called for a ban on un­reg­u­lated beaver culls af­ter the pop­u­la­tion of the an­i­mals was found to have more than dou­bled in the Tay­side re­gion.

Beavers were spot­ted in Tay­side in 2006 due to au­tho­rised re­leases, four cen­turies af­ter they were hunted to ex­tinc­tion across Scot­land.

The es­ti­mated pop­u­la­tion in the re­gion has risen from about 150 in 2012 to about 430, ac­cord­ing to a Scot­tish Nat­u­ral Her­itage sur­vey. The an­i­mals are spread­ing into the Forth River catch­ment area.

Scot­tish Wildlife Trust con­ser­va­tion direc­tor Su­san Davies said she be­lieved the an­i­mals could help boost ecosys­tems. She said: “How­ever, it is alarm­ing that there are a num­ber of ar­eas where beavers are ab­sent due to un­reg­u­lated culls.

“Killing beavers should only be per­mit­ted un­der li­cence in sit­u­a­tions where their im­pact are truly se­vere and where al­ter­na­tive non-lethal ap­proaches have failed.” Ms Davies called on the Scot­tish Govern­ment to com­plete the steps re­quired to give beavers pro­tected sta­tus.

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