A SECOND family of beavers has been relocated to a farm in Scotland in a bid to help population numbers in the wild.

The move comes after the Scottish Government said last year that it would support translocation of beavers to new areas of Scotland rather than killing them if they are causing damage.

The five beavers were moved to the Argaty Red Kites centre near Doune, in addition to the five beavers already relocated there in November last year.

The charity, Beaver Trust, carried out the translocation last Friday.

The beavers were trapped and taken under licence from areas where they were causing serious agricultural damage for farmers, and where mitigation measures have not been successful or are not possible, nature agency NatureScot said.

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The farm is one of just two translocation sites authorised in Scotland, with the first being the beaver reintroduction trial site in Knapdale, Argyll.

Tom Bowser, owner of Argaty Red Kites, said: “We are thrilled to be Scotland’s first private site to legally release beavers into the wild. It will be so exciting to see how they enhance biodiversity on our farm.”

Beaver dams are said to create nature-rich wetlands that benefit many other species, including amphibians, invertebrates and fish, and which also improve water quality, moderate water flows and reduce downstream flooding.

Roisin Campbell-Palmer, of Beaver Trust, said: “The translocation of this beaver family can be considered a success – with both parents and all seen offspring trapped over a short time frame with full engagement of the landowner, lots of positive familial behaviours observed, with all individuals eating well and completing health screening checks.

“Being able to release these beavers as a well-bonded family unit feels like we are giving them the best chance for relocation success.”

NatureScot welcomed the beavers’ relocation to Argaty.

Donald Fraser, NatureScot’s head of wildlife management, said: “Projects like this one allow beavers to be trapped and released in an area where nature will benefit and there is less risk to agriculture.”

NatureScot figures estimate the beaver population in Scotland at between 602 and 1381 animals, with a rough median estimate of 954 beavers across 254 territories.

Figures published by NatureScot show that 115 beavers were killed and 31 relocated elsewhere in 2020.