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Knapdale beavers evade researchers

Beaver kit with adult (Photo: Steve Gardner SWT)

Researchers monitoring beavers re-introduced to the wild have struggled to keep tabs on all of the animals due to the difficult terrain at Knapdale, Argyll.

15 European beavers were released into the wild in 2009 but the annual report of the Scottish Beaver Trial says that only 9 were believed to still be alive in the release area by June 2010.

The beavers were released with radio tags attached to their tails, some of which have fallen off. Other beavers have been hard to track because of the dense forestry, steep hillsides and complicated network of rivers and lochs. The monitoring relies on radio signals which are difficult to pick up in the terrain of the release site. The researchers have also used trapping to count and assess the beavers. Since the start of the project, two of the released beavers are known to have died in the wild and another, which was withdrawn from the project also died in captivity, all three beavers known to have died were male, and three females are currently classed as missing.

Further information about the Scottish Beaver Trial can be found at the website. Walkhighlands features details of a walk at Barnluasgan Oakwood within the Knapdale trail site.

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Walking can be dangerous and is done entirely at your own risk. Information is provided free of charge; it is each walker's responsibility to check it and navigate using a map and compass.