Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Scottish Beaver Trial: Project Update No. 2

SBT have sent out their second project update which says that everything is going very well and that the disappearing beavers were probably frightened away but gunshots heard in the area just before they abandoned the loch and headed for the canal and beyond. Police have been informed and investigations are ongoing. This was only made public when one of the missing beavers turned up at Lakeland Marine Fish Farm on Craignish Loch, inconveniently disproving the ‘facts’ that beavers don’t go into salt water, that they would be geographically contained in Knapdale and that they wouldn’t get into the Crinan Canal. So far, the only people known to be responsible for the deaths of beavers during the trial are the members of the Scottish Beaver Project.

The three Creag Mhor beavers left the loch in the second week of the trial, around the 7 June. This information was not made public and the whiteboard at Barnluasgan continues to proclaim that there are 10 beavers in Knapdale (last updated 2 August). It was known on 28 July that there was a beaver at the fish farm. The continuing misinformation from SBT does not help the project’s credibility with the beaver sceptics among us.

The project update also says that SBT ‘will be proposing that a fourth family or pair of animals is released into the trial area as soon as is practically possible’. This has to be agreed by the Scottish Government. The additional release is to ‘establish a small, but viable population of animals within the trial area and therefore fulfill the objectives of the trial and licence’.

The licence conditions ‘recommend the collection and quarantine of a fourth family as a useful back-up, in case of any mortality during the quarantine period’ . Point 7 states ‘We would strongly recommend one simultaneous release of all the animals at the start of the trial, rather than a series of phased releases’.

If you share my opposition to the introduction of beavers to Scotland, I suggest you write to Roseanne Cunningham, Minister for Environment at the Scottish Government.

In the meantime, the six beavers remaining on the release lochs continue to fell many trees and flood the footpath at Coille Bharr. Well worth 2 million pounds.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Above post only deleted as it was a personal comment for one of the contributors and not re beavers.