Update on Scottish Beavers
The press has been full of reports of the beaver shooting since the Freedom of Information request revealed its full horror. Both pregnant and lactating females that had only recently given birth were included amongst the carcases handed in by farmers to SNH to be autopsied by RZSS. Some of the beavers had been shot in ways which would have led to them dying slowly and painfully. Its clear that some kits must have starved and we were told that this is only the tip of the iceberg
But following on the beaver shooting story we heard first from Devon Wildlife Trust and then from Stirling University of research published that shows that beavers are highly beneficial in the UK – that they do indeed purify water, slow down floodwaters and increase soil retention and biodiversity including for salmonids, just as they do in other countries.
A nice aspect was that the beavers were “absolved” of causing the Alyth flood (according to a Courier Hoarding in Blairgowrie).
Our Facebook group has been enjoying the glut of positive publicity that has at last come out proving what we knew all along.
We are still waiting for a decision from the Minister, Dr. Aileen McLeod MSP, on the future of beavers in Scotland.
After such an immense wait we really feel she has had enough time to announce that Scotland acknowledges and celebrates the return of Castor fiber and to apply the legal protection that is due to the species under the European Habitats Directive.
The longer we wait, the more beavers are going to be shot. We feel that the farmers (and some gardeners) also need clarity on this issue and positive help with mitigation. SWBG continues to provide this in a small way without our limited capacity. We need to begin a discussion about how the agricultura grant system can be used to provide stick and/or carrot to make beaver mitigation on the farm work.