The Tayside Beaver Study Group (TBSG) was formed in 2012 following a decision by the Scottish Government to allow the unlicensed Tayside population of beavers to remain in place for the duration of the official beaver reintroduction trial currently taking place in Knapdale in Argyll.
At the end of the trial period in 2015, the Minister for Environment will take a decision on the future of beavers in Scotland – both those in Knapdale and in Tayside.
In 2012, the SNH Commissioned Report No. 540, ‘Distribution, Population Assessment and Activities of Beavers in Tayside’, “estimated that there were 38-39 groups of beavers present in the Tay catchment, equating to approximately 146 individual beavers”.
The TBSG aims to study and monitor the beavers of Tayside 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 is being 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 is 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 collated information will be used to inform and assist the Minister in the decision making process regarding the future of beavers in Scotland. This the case, we strongly encourage all landowners with beaver activity on their land to complete the attached landowner questionnaire.