TO the joy of animal-lovers and the despair of landowners, Scotland’s wild beavers are on the move. A canoeist has uncovered the first evidence that the animals are migrating south from the Tay to the Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park. From there, they are likely to spread to large parts of Scotland.

A beaver was caught on film swimming in the River Leny near Callander earlier this month. That is the furthest south the animals have been spotted since they colonised the Tay and its tributaries in recent years.

About 100 beavers are thought to be living around Tayside, descendants of animals that either escaped from captivity or were illegally released. A threat to trap and remove them was lifted by the Scottish Government in March, pending a decision on whether to formally permit their reintroduction in 2015. But by then, beavers are likely to be impossible to eradicate.

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Sunday Herald (29 July 2012)