Beaver cull ban call as numbers soar
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.