NatureScot has today approved a licence application from the Cairngorms National Park Authority to release up to six beaver families at agreed sites in the upper River Spey catchment.
Alan McDonnell, Trees for Life’s Head of Nature Restoration, said:
“The official return of beavers to the Cairngorms after four long centuries is wonderful news for Scotland’s biodiversity. Allowing these habitat-creating, flood-preventing animals to be relocated across Scotland – to where they are needed, and with the right support in place for farmers – offers hope for tackling the nature and climate emergencies.
“By moving rather than shooting beavers, we can help this keystone species get to work boosting biodiversity, tackling climate breakdown, and creating wildlife tourism opportunities.
“Scotland is one of the world’s most nature-depleted countries, so we hope the Scottish Government’s major public agencies will follow this inspiring rewilding lead and welcome beavers back to suitable habitat on their own land as soon as possible.”
Beavers create wetlands that benefit other wildlife, absorb carbon dioxide, purify water and reduce flooding. Trees for Life has long campaigned to protect beavers in Scotland, advocating for relocation to suitable habitat over culling when beavers have unwanted impacts on agricultural land.
Beavers are a protected native species, and were first reintroduced to Scotland in 2009.