The Tayside Beaver Study Group (TBSG) was established in May 2012 in response to a decision by the Environment Minister at the time, Stewart Stevenson MSP, to study beavers which had become established across the Tay Catchment.
It was decided that the Tayside beavers should be allowed to remain in place for the duration of the official beaver reintroduction trial in Knapdale in Argyll. At the end of the trial period in 2015, a decision on the future of beavers in Scotland – both those in Knapdale and Tayside - will be made by the Environment Minister of the day.
The work of the TBSG will run parallel with the official Scottish beaver reintroduction trial.
The TBSG aims to study and monitor the Tayside beavers and their impacts. This is being done in a variety of ways:
• The monitoring includes a trap and re-release (at point of capture) veterinary health screening and DNA sampling programme and monitoring of any impacts on land uses such as farming, forestry and fishing.
• Potential measures to reduce and resolve beaver/land-use conflicts will also be investigated and an advisory service established to disseminate this information widely around the Tayside area.
• A questionnaire aimed at landowners who know of, or suspect beaver activity on their land will also be circulated, with the aim of gathering information on the full range of experiences of landowners and land managers and the current needs in terms of advice.
The information gathered over the next two years (2013-15) will be incorporated into the information provided to the Environment Minister. This information will assist the decision making process regarding the future of beavers in Scotland.
Therefore, Scottish Land & Estates strongly encourages all Tayside landowners with beaver activity on their land to complete the attached questionnaire and return it to:
Tayside Beaver Project Officer
Tayside Beaver Study Group
Scottish Natural Heritage
Tel: 01738 458592
For further information please visit www.taysidebeaverstudygroup.org.uk.