The Scottish Wildlife Trust and the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS), in partnership with the Mammal Society, are asking people to get involved with beaver conservation by reporting the signs of beavers that they see around the country.
Tracking these important ecosystem engineers as they spread across Scotland is vital, both for their future conservation and to help inform where further expert surveys should take place.
Thanks to the Mammal Society’s free Mammal Mapper app, anyone with a smart phone can easily record and report beaver signs and sightings while out and about.
Scotland’s beavers are concentrated in Knapdale Forest in Argyll and in the River Tay catchment. Populations are gradually expanding from Tayside, with recent sightings of beavers being reported in the River Forth around Stirling and Fallin, and as far afield as Loch Lomond and Glasgow.
Beavers are most active around dawn and dusk, so field signs are often more obvious than the animals themselves. The tell-tale clues of the presence of beavers include gnawed and felled trees with a characteristic pencil shape as well as dams and lodges. Freshly gnawed wood will often appear bright orange, making it stand out against the background.
The free Mammal Mapper app is available to download from the App Store and Google Play. You can find out more about it here.