Scottish Beaver Trial
In May 2008, the Scottish Government gave permission to the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland and the Scottish Wildlife Trust for a scientifically monitored, trial reintroduction of European beavers to Knapdale Forest in mid-Argyll. However, there were some conditions, including the need for the monitoring to be done independently, and coordinated by Scottish Natural Heritage. Knapdale is managed by Forestry Commission Scotland.
One year later, and following much detailed preparation, beavers were finally released at Knapdale. This was the first time a species of mammal was reintroduced, legally, anywhere in Britain in the wild. A programme of monitoring was organised by ourselves in collaboration with a range of 'Independent Monitoring Partners'. The monitoring ran for five years from the May 2009 release until May 2014. This generated a lot of information on beaver interactions with the environment and these have been summarised in our 'Beavers in Scotland' report. The Scottish Wildlife Trust and Royal Zoological Society of Scotland have also produced a report based on their experiences managing the Trial.
The independent monitoring programme
At the start of the Trial we produced a monitoring programme which set out why we needed to monitor, how we planned to work with other organisations and what sort of work was to be done. The Trial has now finished, and the final reports are now available to see.
Who monitored the trial?
We've listed below the monitoring projects we led on in collaboration with our Independent Monitoring Partners:
- Beaver ecology - in partnership with the University of Oxford
- Otter - in partnership with the University of Oxford
- Fish - in partnership with the Argyll Fisheries Trust
- Dragonflies and damselflies - in partnership with the British Dragonfly Society
- Woodland habitat - in partnership with The James Hutton Institute (previously called the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute)
- Loch habitat, including aquatic plants - in partnership with the University of Stirling
- River habitat - in partnership with the University of Stirling
- Hydrology - in partnership with the University of Stirling
- Socio-economics - in partnership with the Scotland's Rural College (previously called the Scottish Agricultural College)
A number of other monitoring projects were led by these independent organisations:
Last updated on Monday 11th January 2016 at 15:23 PM. Click here to comment on this page