Publicly funded beaver management key to resolving tension between conservation and land management

Press Release

Establishing an effective and well-resourced management framework for beavers in Scotland should be the shared goal for government, conservation and land management interests, Scottish Land & Estates said today.

The rural business organisation made the comments following publication of the latest beaver survey by NatureScot, which confirmed the number of beavers has more than doubled in Scotland in the last three years to around 1000 animals.

Karen Ramoo, Policy Adviser (Forestry, Conservation & Wildlife Management) at Scottish Land & Estates, said:

“This survey confirms the continuing growth of the beaver population in Scotland. In broad terms, beaver numbers appear to have more than doubled in the period since the last survey with an increase from 114 to 251 territories. 

“There are conservation benefits to the reintroduction of beavers, including the creation of wetlands, improved habitat structure and diversity as well enhanced biodiversity. The strong beaver population confirmed in this survey will aid those outcomes. 

“However, the growing number of beavers in Scotland also confirms the urgent need for government and NatureScot to establish and resource adequate mitigation measures where they are having a detrimental impact.  

“There is a shared desire to minimise the number of beavers culled under licence but this can only be achieved where publicly funded mitigation measures are available to farmers, land and fisheries managers who suffer damage to their businesses. These businesses should not be left to bear the cost of resolving the tension between conservation and land management. The decision to give beavers protected status was accepted by all stakeholders when it was announced and we want to work in partnership with others to implement an effective management framework for years to come.”