Schoolchildren asked to name Scotland's first wild beavers

by Search Gate staff. Published Tue 30 Aug 2017 14:31
Beavers back wild in the Scottish countryside

The first beavers to be born in the wild since they were hunted into extinction hundreds of years ago will be named by Scottish school children.

A competition to choose the names was officially launched by Environment Minister Stewart Stevenson during a visit to the Scottish Beaver Trial in Knapdale Forest, Argyll, which was recently recognised by Lonely Planet magazine awards as a European travel highlight.

The Minister visited the Dubh Loch site to see the beaver's landscape, dam and new 'Beaver Detective Trail' footpath.

He was also taken to Loch Linnhe to view a beaver lodge by boat and met representatives of the organisations involved in the trial.

Mr Stevenson said: "This trial of reintroducing beavers back into the wild in Scotland in a controlled and supervised way was an important step forward for Scottish conservation and tourism. These charismatic creatures play a key role in providing good habitat for a range of wetland species, while generating interest in Knapdale and Scotland from far afield.

"It is great news that this landmark trial has proven successful in breeding its first kits last year, following the reintroduction of beaver family groups to Knapdale in 2009. We hope this breeding will continue and invite name suggestions from young people to welcome the kits.

"By engaging people in the trial, we hope it will help boost interest in the wider research over the next few years. This research will play a crucial role in assessing the long-term future for beavers in the Scottish landscape."

Scottish Beaver Trial Project Manager Simon Jones said: "I am delighted that the Minister for the Environment has come to Knapdale to see the Scottish Beaver Trial for himself.

"The Trial has become a major tourist attraction and we were recently commended by Lonely Planet. They're a great boost to the local economy.

"The Minister has also seen the conservation benefits of beavers in Scotland. Beavers are ecosystem engineers who modify their environment and experiences from other countries shows that they can bring new species and a greater variety of wildlife to their area.

"I'm looking forward to seeing the names that children come up with for the beaver kits."

Children wanting to suggest a name for the kits can apply via email to The winning names will be announced by the Scottish Beaver Trial later this year.

The Scottish Beaver Trial is a partnership project between the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, the Scottish Wildlife Trust and host Forestry Commission Scotland.

This is a planned and licensed trial where there has been consultation with and involvement of local people and businesses. Careful monitoring of the impact of the beavers has taken place from the outset.

It is a time-limited trial which is due to run until 2014, and followed years of lobbying by ecologists and conservation experts who believed the beaver has been a missing part of wetland eco-systems since being hunted to extinction in the 16th century.

Research into the five-year trial is coordinated by Scottish Natural Heritage. Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) is the independent body tasked by the Scottish Government to co-ordinate the scientific monitoring of the trial.

SNH will report to the Scottish Government at the end of the trial period and a decision can then be made on the future of the beavers in Knapdale Forest and elsewhere in Scotland The competition will be judged by representatives from one of SWT's corporate sponsors Biffaward. The prize is a 'beaver safari' boat trip for the winning child plus one parent/carer.

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Comments about Schoolchildren asked to name Scotland's first wild beavers

Great competition, but the wild Tay beavers did have young before the Knapdale ones. The BBC have changed their website in acknowledgement.
Louise Ramsay, Alyth around 2 years, 3 months ago

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