Almost one in four River Tay beavers are being sent to live in England, the Scottish Government has admitted.
The removal of the animal from dams in Perthshire to rivers south of the border has been branded “bizarre” by the Scottish Greens.
In response to a parliamentary question by Mid-Scotland and Fife MSP Mark Ruskell, Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham revealed 16 beavers had been trapped by NatureScot, the nature agency, between August 25 and September 5 this year.
She added: “One animal was re-released locally, relating to a licence to protect public
“Eleven have been released at five different projects in England. A further four
animals are currently at a holding facility until trapping of the family group is
“Following this, the families will be moved to another release project in
“The projects in England include biodiversity enhancement, flood resilience and
science, research and education.”
Animal is native to Scotland
Scottish Greens environment spokesperson Mark Ruskell said: “While exile is better than execution, this bizarre situation is what happens when a government wants to simultaneously protect and eradicate an animal from our country.
“The fact is, there are farmers and nature reserves in Scotland who would welcome beaver populations. Instead we are exporting these creatures en masse. Beavers are native to Scotland, we should be translocating them across the country so we can build a healthy population here.
“Translocated beavers could bring eco-tourism to new areas of Scotland, while restoring the nature-rich wetlands we need to protect against floods.
“Beavers are nature’s expert engineers, they are needed at home in Scotland and shouldn’t be shot or shipped to England.”