Beavers might be reintroduced in Scotland by 2009

December 25th, 2007 - 1:14 pm ICT by admin  

London, Dec 25 (ANI): The beaver might return to Scotland by 2009, after wildlife bodies submitted an application to the Scottish Government for a license to allow 20 beavers to be brought from Norway.

Beavers are semi-aquatic rodents, best known for their natural trait of building dams in rivers and their tree felling skills .

The latest plans of bringing the animals back to Scotland is significant as they were hunted to extinction in the country in the 16th century.

According to a report in BBC Online, the license application submitted to the Scottish Government is for a trial reintroduction of 20 European beavers in the Knapdale Forest in Mid-Argyll, a region of Western Scotland.

“We are delighted that this licence application has now been submitted and we look forward to conducting a full scientific trial of the first formal reintroduction of a native mammal into the wild in the UK, said Allan Bantick, chairman of the Beaver Project Steering Group and trustee of the Scottish Wildlife Trust.

Approval for the trial reintroduction would see 15 to 20 beavers from Norway introduced to the trial site following a period of quarantine.

“Once we get the green light from the Scottish Government we will develop the detailed plan for the trial taking into consideration issues raised during the consultation,” said Bantick.

Bringing the beavers back to the country would be benefical as they are thought to play an important role in aquatic and wetland eco-systems, and on the wider biodiversity of the area in which they live.

“We will work with all the various stakeholders involved in the project to make it a success and to benefit from the contribution the beaver can make to improving our natural ecosystems and habitats as well as encouraging tourism, David Windmill, Chief Executive of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, told BBC Online.

“We are very pleased to have so much support for this project and anticipate a great deal of public interest in the long awaited return of the beaver to Scotland,” he added.

Because the mammals have been successfully reintroduced elsewhere in Europe, including parts of Germany and the Netherlands, the ultimate aim of the scientific trial would be to monitor this success and impact of the beaver reintroduction before the animal is released elsewhere in Scotland.

“The first beavers could be reintroduced to Mid-Argyll in spring 2009, said Bantick. (ANI)

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