Save the Free Beavers of Scotland
This petition had 1,743 supporters
What are we petitioning for?
Comprehensive Legal Protection of Beavers in Scotland
Post- trial reintroduction of Beavers to Scotland; we are currently awaiting a decision to be made by Aileen McLeod MSP: Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform as to whether beavers will have comprehensive legal protection in Scotland.
The beaver (Castor fiber) is a hugely important ecosystem engineer and formerly native animal to Scotland that is capable of creating landscapes that protect our resident plants and animals. They also save taxpayers money in water treatment and flood management costs. The beaver was hunted to extinction and we have a duty to bring them back to our river systems and resume their function of rewilding river systems. The effects of beavers will improve water quality, reduce flooding and help turn our river banks back into wildlife havens. This is resisted by some groups who want to exploit our river banks for private gain or fear change in the countryside.
Currently in Scotland there are two separate populations of beavers. Scottish Natural Heritage initiated a trial reintroduction in 2009 in Knapdale forest, Argyll. This trial ended in July 2015 the result of which was a comprehensive report "Beavers in Scotland" submitted by SNH to Scottish Ministers from whom we are currently awaiting a decision on the legal status of wild and reintroduced beavers. On the East coast of Scotland in the Tay river catchment, Beavers have been living wild largely unnoticed for many years presumed as a result of escapees from private collections. These animals have have been observed in many locations and are thought to number several hundred individuals, living wild in balance with their natural habitat.
Why is there debate over protection for the Scottish beavers?
Some groups are scared beavers will change rivers and supress fishing – the best scientific evidence clearly shows this is wrong and beavers enhance fish stocks and make rivers better for wildlife.
The SNH report to Scottish Ministers can be accessed here;
Scottish Wild Beaver Group
For more information;
Save the Free Beavers of the Tay
National press coverage:
Jim Crumley's latest book highlighting why we need beavers now more than ever:
Wildlife program presented by Julian Clary featuring Scottish Wild Beavers:
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