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Family of beavers discovered in Beauly to be moved

A family of beavers discovered living on a river in the Beauly area will be captured and moved, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) reported today.
As this group is well away from the two current beaver populations in Scotland, in Tayside and Argyll, it’s clear they haven’t arrived by natural means.
The intention to capture the beavers accords with Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham’s decision last November that she was minded to allow beavers to remain in Tayside and Argyll and expand their range naturally, but that it would remain an offence for beavers to be released without a licence. 
Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said:
“We have been clear that we are minded that beavers can remain in Scotland and that their range can expand naturally. But the unauthorised release of beavers is a criminal offence and will damage the beaver reintroduction project.
“That is why I am asking SNH to take swift action in the Beauly area.  We must avoid a repeat of the experience on Tayside.”
SNH said it is taking immediate steps to trap this family group, adding that the work will be carried out in accordance with the Scottish Code for Conservation Translocations. The code is an approved and agreed approach to reintroducing species that takes into account their biological needs but also the views and interests of local people. The aim of such an approach is to reduce conflict, and increase conservation success.
The first stage, underway this week, will be to habituate the animals to tried and tested beaver traps before capturing them later this summer, once the young beavers are more independent. The priority is to capture the animals; they will then be held until a suitable release location is found.

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