The Scottish Government has today announced that a final decision on the reintroduction of beavers to Scotland will not be taken until later this year. In response, Duncan Orr-Ewing, Head of Species and Land Management at RSPB Scotland, said: "We are extremely disappointed by this further delay in ratifying the presence of Eurasian beavers in Scotland.
"Whilst we fully understand that safeguards need to be in place to deal with the concerns of some land managers, there is widespread experience on how beavers and humans can successfully co-exist, including on or adjacent to farmland. The Scottish Beaver Trial concluded its work almost a year ago and carried out an exemplary evaluation of the likely benefits and costs of beavers returning to Scotland, and we see no reason why the Government has delayed this important decision further.
"The situation of unregulated culling and an absence of coordinated management support will now continue until after the election, to the detriment of the environment, landowners and of course the beavers themselves. We encourage the new or re-appointed Minister to endorse the return of this iconic species to our rivers and lochs as soon as possible after the election."
The Scottish Government press release detailing this announcement can be found here: http://news.scotland.gov.uk/News/Scottish-beaver-update-249c.aspx