Six new reports examining the Scottish Beaver Trial in Argyll have been published. The studies will help the Scottish government in considering any future reintroductions of the animals.
The first Norwegian beavers were released in Knapdale in 2009 after six months of quarantine at the Highland Wildlife Park near Aviemore.
The reports cover the health and diet of the mammals and their impact on the landscape and local economy.Researchers noted that the beavers changed the shape of woodland close to loch shores and increased the water level of one loch after building a dam on it.
The presence of the animals at Knapdale boosted visits to the area by “beaver tourists” and volunteers to the project, according to one of the reports. The same research suggested the benefit to local businesses was “modest”.
The only beavers in the world more famous than Martinez beavers. They’ve been studied, observed, weighed, poked and prodded. The water they backed up has been counted and the very trees they chewed have been measured for regrowth. The trial was finally concluded and the data is in. Now they only need to prepare summaries for the government and recommend Aye or Nay. I can’t seem to find the reports online, but I’ll keep looking. This part made me smile.
Martin Gaywood, who leads the independent scientific monitoring of the trial for Scottish Natural Heritage, said it was essential that any species reintroduction project was properly managed and monitored.
He said: “The independent monitoring of the Scottish Beaver Trial has helped us understand how they behave in a Scottish environment.
Umm very like they behave in any other environment?
I couldn’t resist. These adorable buttons and many others are being donated to our silent auction by Tevah and Jody Platt from Michigan. They were so excited when I asked them to think about donating that they designed buttons just for us! It turns out they grew up in the Bay Area and their mom was a HIV/AIDS counselor in Martinez. (Small beaver world.) They had never heard the beaver story and were thrilled to learn about it. They have many fantastic designs, but I sent these right away to our friends of the Tay beavers. You can go check out their creative buttons here:
Our sponsor ISI was kind enough to update our profile page with the recent radio appearance. They describe it as a National Public Radio show, which it was, but thank goodness I only thought of it as limited to CT.